Eyelid Spasm: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Eyelid Spasm: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment | HealthSoul

Have you ever had eyelid spasms? Do you know what they are? An eyelid twitch or spasm, known as a myokymia, is a term used in reference to repetitive, involuntary spasms of your eyelid muscles. Typically, spasms occur in the upper lids, but they may also occur in the lower lids as well. For many people, eyelid spasms are nothing more than mild annoyances and may feel like gentle tugs on the eyelid. They usually last a few seconds to a few minutes and are unpredictable. Some last for a few days, while others may linger for longer, depending on the cause behind the spasms. Fortunately, most eyelid spasms clear up on their own without treatment and are relatively painless.

However, in more severe cases, the eyelid spasms may cause one or both eyes to close or may even allude to a larger, more serious health conditions.

What is Eyelid Spasm?

Causes of Eyelid Spasm 

There are many different causes behind eye spasms, including the following:

  • Eye irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of sleep
  • Eyelid strain
  • Physical exertion
  • Stress
  • Medication side effects
  • Caffeine or alcohol use

Causes of Eyelid Spasm

In some cases, you may experience chronic spasms. If you do, you may have a condition known as benign essential blepharospasm. This particular condition usually affects both eyes and may worsen with the following:

  • Dry eyes
  • Pinkeye
  • Eyelid inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Environmental irritants
  • Light sensitivity
  • Stress
  • Too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Smoking

Unfortunately, if you’re diagnosed with benign essential blepharospasm, it will likely worsen over time and may result in:

  • Facial spasms
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased light sensitivity

In rare cases, eyelid spasms may even point to a larger, more serious health condition, such as a nerve disorder or brain problem. However, eyelid spasms linked to these types of serious conditions are usually accompanied by some or all of the following symptoms:

When to See a Doctor for Eyelid Spasm

If you have any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away so he or she can perform any necessary tests. If they suspect a nerve or brain issue is behind your symptoms, they may refer you to a neurologist.

  • Twitching lasts more than a week
  • Spasms causing your eyelid to close completely
  • Facial spasms
  • Swelling, redness, or discharge from one of your eyes
  • Your upper lid or lids begin to droop

Treatment of Eyelid Spasm

Fortunately, most eyelid spasms clear up on their own after a couple of days or weeks. If your spasms are annoying you or you’re trying to rule out potential causes, try the following:

  • Get more sleep
  • Drink less alcohol or caffeine
  • Keep eyes hydrated
  • Apply warm compresses when spasms begin

If you have benign essential blepharospasm, your doctor may recommend botulinum toxin (Botox) to ease any severe spasms caused by the condition. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove certain nerves or muscles in your eyelids.

Treatment of Eyelid Spasm

Prognosis of Eyelid Spasm

There are many causes linked to eyelid spasms, but there are many treatment options available as well. For most people with eyelid spasms, the condition clears up relatively quickly on its own without medical treatment. By making simple lifestyle changes, such as sleeping more and cutting back on caffeine, you may reduce your chance of eyelid spasms.