Twitching Eye Lids

Twitching eye lids can be a symptom of Dry Eye or other conditions.

Twitching eye lids can be triggered when the eyes become dry. The blink rate may first increase automatically and then the brain is triggered to increase the blink rate even more, resulting  in a twitch. The eye muscle may become fatigued from frequent blinking and begin to twitch.

Twitching can happen in the upper or lower lids. It can happen in either eye.

Frequent or prolonged twitching eye lids can be very annoying and interfere with activities.

Twitching usually stops on its own after a minute or so. A warm compress or light finger massage can help to suppress the twitching. Magnesium supplements may also be helpful, especially if other muscles, like leg muscles, twitch or cramp.

Underlying chronic Dry Eye co-morbidities should be treated when twitching is frequent. Lubricating drops may be used to help reduce twitching.

Twitching may prevent full closure of the eye during a blink. Incomplete blinks can contribute to Dry Eye symptoms. Incomplete closure of the eyes due to eye lid twitching can also contribute to Dry Eye symptoms.

Other co-morbid conditions, environmental factors, and behaviors can also cause eye lid twitching. These include fatigue, stress, caffeine or chocolate consumption, computer use, headaches, or neck aches.  Changing your environment and habits can help prevent eye lid twitching.

Eye lid twitching can also indicate other diseases that require medical attention. Seek medical care if eye lid twitching is chronic or if there are other symptoms that could indicate co-morbid conditions that require medical care.

Prolonged, chronic, or severe twitching requires medical attention. In rare cases eye lid twitching may indicate serious conditions such as more severe forms of blepharospasm (eye lid spasm) that can cause functional blindness when eyelids involuntarily close completely. This can even be dangerous if it happens while driving.


Blepharospasm: update on epidemiology, clinical aspects, and pathophysiology
Valls-Sole J, Defazio G.
Frontiers in Neurology
2016 Mar 31;7:45. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2016.00045. eCollection 2016.
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What can cause frequent eye twitching?
Retrieved May 3, 2016
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