If you have ever spent several hours trying to focus on your daily tasks through repetitive and unpredictable eyelid twitches, then you understand the frustration. For some people, these twitches only occur every so often while others may experience this annoying twitch regularly, and still others never experience it at all. If you’ve ever experienced eyelid twitching yourself, then you may have noticed how random it can seem, and you have likely wondered what is causing it. While there is no identifiable cause, professionals do agree on some possible factors regarding eyelid twitching. If you are experiencing eyelid twitching with irritated eyes, you may want to set an appointment with your optometrist. Keep reading to learn why.

What is an eyelid twitch?

When your eyelid twitches, it is because of an involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscle, typically the top lid although some people also experience lower lid spasms. Many have commented that this eyelid twitch feels as if an invisible string is tugging on the lid. Painless and typically harmless, these twitches usually disappear without the need for any sort of treatment. However, more persistent or aggressive eyelid twitching can indicate more serious conditions, such as eye disorders as well as neurological or nervous system disorders.

What are the possible factors causing the twitch?

Because eyelid twitches are not normally a cause for concern, professionals don’t typically look into the source of the problem, which means we’re not sure what causes them These professionals do agree, however, on some probable factors that are likely to either cause or contribute to eyelid twitching:

  • Prescription medication side effects
  • Eye irritation or dry eyes
  • Stress and/or fatigue
  • Consumption of caffeine
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Use of tobacco

Can eyelid twitching become chronic?

For some, eyelid twitching becomes something they must contend with on a regular basis. Sometimes, chronic eyelid twitching can indicate that the person has benign essential blepharospasm, which is described as the involuntary closing of the eyes and can progressively affect vision. This condition typically begins with eye irritation and excessive blinking and is known to worsen over time, eventually forcing the person to keep his or her eyes closed for long periods of time, even hours.

What is eyelid twitching a symptom of?

Although most eyelid twitches are harmless and will go away on their own, some may indicate much more serious conditions. If you are experiencing eyelid twitching, it may indicate one of these eye conditions:

  • Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
  • Conjunctivitis (pinkeye)
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dry eyes
    
    

Eyelid twitching may also indicate these brain and/or nerve conditions:

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Dystonia or cervical dystonia
  • Parkinson’s disease

When should I seek professional advice regarding an eyelid twitch?

Depending on what type of symptoms you’re experiencing, you may want to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. You may also want to see a professional neurologist, although depending on the severity of your twitch, you may not need to do anything at all. Seek professional advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Irritation of the eyes characterized by redness, swelling, or discharge.
  • Eyelid twitching that does not stop after several weeks.
  • Twitching in other parts of your face.
  • Drooping of the upper eyelid.

The professional optometrists at Vision Care Centre Langley can help you keep your eyes healthy whether you’re contending with eyelid twitching or some other disruptive symptom. If you need to see a local eye doctor, give us a call, or contact our trusted optometrist office online. Our teams of optometrists and opticians are qualified, experienced, and always happy to help improve the lives of our patients.