Why Is My Eyelid Twitching? By Gordon Wong, OD on December 12, 2022

woman rubbing at her eyesEyelid twitching, also known as eyelid myokymia, is a common and usually harmless condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. At GW Eye Associates serving La Jolla, CACarmel Valley, CA, and other areas of San DiegoCA, we can determine why your eyelid is twitching. We can test for various eye conditions during an eye exam to identify the source of eye twitching if this problem lasts for several days or weeks.

Eye Strain

Eye strain is a common cause of eyelid twitching. When you strain your eyes, the muscles in your eyelids can become fatigued and overworked, which can lead to twitching or spasm. This is often seen in people who spend long hours in front of a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

To reduce the risk of eyelid twitching due to eye strain, it's important to take regular breaks while using electronic devices or reading. The American Optometric Association recommends the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This helps reduce eye strain and fatigue.

Other ways to prevent eye strain include adjusting the lighting and brightness of your device, maintaining a comfortable viewing distance from the screen, and ensuring that your prescription for glasses or contact lenses is up-to-date.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a cause of eyelid twitching. Dry eyes occur when your eyes do not produce enough tears, or when the tears evaporate too quickly, causing irritation and inflammation. When the eyelids are irritated, the muscles can become fatigued and lead to twitching or spasms.

To prevent eyelid twitching due to dry eyes, it is important to keep the eyes well lubricated. This can be done by using artificial tears or eye drops, which are available over-the-counter at drugstores. You can also use a warm compress over your eyes to help improve the quality of your tears and relieve any discomfort.

Other ways to prevent dry eyes include avoiding smoke and dry environments, using a humidifier in dry indoor environments, and taking breaks while reading or using electronic devices.

Eye Allergies

Eye allergies can cause eyelid twitching as well. When your eyes are exposed to allergens such as pollen, dust, or pet dander, the immune system releases histamine, which causes inflammation and irritation of the eyes. This can lead to eyelid twitching, along with other symptoms such as redness, itching, and tearing.

To prevent eyelid twitching due to eye allergies, it is important to identify and avoid the allergens that trigger your symptoms. This may involve taking steps such as washing your hands frequently, keeping windows and doors closed during high pollen counts, using an air purifier, and avoiding rubbing your eyes.

Over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops can also be helpful in relieving symptoms of eye allergies. If your symptoms are severe or persistent, your healthcare provider may prescribe other medications such as corticosteroid eye drops or oral antihistamines.

Other Causes of Eyelid Twitching

Our eye doctors can recommend treatment when eyelid twitching is related to an ophthalmic condition. There are also other causes of eyelid twitching that aren’t related to eye care.

  • Stress: High levels of stress, anxiety, or fatigue can trigger eyelid twitching.
  • Caffeine and alcohol: Overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol can cause eyelid twitching.
  • Nutritional imbalances: Nutritional imbalances such as low magnesium levels can cause eyelid twitching.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as those used to treat epilepsy and psychosis, can cause eyelid twitching.
  • Neurological disorders: In rare cases, eyelid twitching can be a symptom of a more serious neurological disorder, such as Tourette's syndrome or Bell's palsy.

Contact Our Practice

If eyelid twitching persists for a long time or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, swelling, or discharge, contact GW Eye Associates. Call us at (858) 454-4699 or send us a message online.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association
  • NVISION

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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