Blepharospasm (Eyelid Twitch)

Blepharospasm or eyelid twitch is an involuntary movement in the eyelid. Twitches are fast, small muscle contractions. Eyelid twitches will often go away on their own.

Blepharospasm is a more severe twitch. It may involve both eyes and eyebrows. The twitch can cause the eyes to close. In severe cases, the twitches may also include the mouth and neck.

Tips to Stop Blepharospasm

While eye twitches will often go away on their own, you can try these steps at home:

  • Reduce stress
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Try eye drops or ointment for irritated eyes
  • If you smoke, try to smoke fewer cigarettes or to quit
  • Reduce how much caffeine you consume

When Should I Call My Doctor? 

Call your doctor if you:

  • Have twitching that causes your eye to close or occurs with spasm in your face
  • Have frequent or continuous eye twitches that do not respond to home care or do not go away on their own
  • Think you have an infection around your eye (eg, redness, swelling, discharge, fever)
  • Have trouble with vision
  • Notice that your eyelid is drooping

Blepharospasm Causes 

Eye twitches are common. The exact cause it not known. But, they are rarely caused by a disease or condition. Eyelid twitches may be associated with:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired or worn out)
  • Irritation of eye
  • Stress
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking or air pollution
  • Physical exertion
  • Eye problems (eg, blepharitis, dry eye, light sensitivity, conjunctivitis)

Blepharospasm may be caused by abnormal function in the part of the brain called the basal ganglia.

Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.