Twitching of eyelids is a repetitive action of blinking of eyelids or spasm on the upper eyelids. Twitching affects the muscles of the eyes and it is involuntary movement occurring for every minute or few seconds. Eyelid twitching can happen due to fatigue, more stress and intake of caffeine.
Eyelid twitching is often painless and resolves on its own. However it can be quite embarrassing if the spasms are strong to close the eyelids for few minutes. Again the intensity of twitching varies from one person to another. For some there can be spasms throughout the day and for some others they get it only when they are tensed or emotional. In rare cases, twitching of eyelids can be chronic leading to constant winking of eyelids. It will cause difficulty in opening the eyes.
Very often eyelid twitching is the result of fatigue or stress. Once the spasms begin it will continue for few days and will disappear. It can be annoying for the person. In many cases, the concerned person will not even notice when the twitching has stopped and has been used to live with it.
In case of severe contractions the eyelids will completely close. And there can be irritation on the cornea or outer membrane/lining of eyelids. Exact reason for eyelid twitching is unknown. It can be due to lack of sleep or underlying eye infection. For some people it can be due to eyelid infection like blepharitis or dry eyes. It can also be caused due to photo sensitivity. It can be caused due to the side effects of prolonged use of drugs for epilepsy or psychosis.
Eyelid twitching can be repeated and creating spasms of the eyelids. The person can experience difficulty in opening the eyes when it twitches uncontrollably. It can cause blurry vision and the eyes can become sensitive to light. In rare cases, it can be an indication of nerve disorder like Bell’s palsy, Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia.
Your doctor can identify twitching of eyelids by looking at the spasms involving the facial muscles. It can cause redness and watery discharge from the eyes. No special tests are necessary for diagnosing eyelid twitching. In case the doctor suspects neurological or brain related problem, he may refer to neurologist.
No treatment is necessary for casual eyelid twitching since it will disappear after some days. In case if twitching is accompanied by irritation of eyes or lining called conjunctiva you can manage it with over the counter artificial tears. Blepharospasm is usually harmless and will not occur when you sleep well. Botulinum injection is taken for managing eyelid twitching of type blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. Botox injection is sent into the eye muscles to give relief from spasms. But one disadvantage in using this injection is it can recur and you need to repeat this course again.
Drugs like lorazepam, clonazepam and trihexyphenidyl are prescribed. Some people prefer to take alternative methods of treatment like acupuncture or chiropractic approach for managing eyelid twitching. If there is no response for other treatments, surgery can be done for blepharospasm twitching. The surgeon will gently remove some of the muscles and nerves that cause eyelid twitching.