A twitching eyelid that just won’t stop can be anything from annoying to frightening.
If your eyelid has been twitching incessantly lately, you can probably chalk it up to strain of the ocular muscles and fatigue.
The eyelid is a muscle, and muscles often twitch for no apparent reason.
But the most common reasons for this phenomenon are fatigue, exercise and anxiety.
Benign fasciculation syndrome is the term often applied to someone who experiences a lot of twitching (fasciculations), especially if accompanied by cramps or fatigue.
And…it’s just that: benign.
Chances are exceedingly high that your twitching eyelid is absolutely nothing to worry about.
Stop worrying. Something that continuously happens throughout the day, that’s impossible to ignore, doesn’t mean it’s serious.
“Eyelid twitching [also called blepharospasm] is mostly caused by stress, fatigue and caffeine excess,” says Sashini Seeni, MD, a family medicine practitioner with DoctorOnCall, an online doctor and pharmacy.
Fasciculations are very common in the general population and can occur to any muscle in the body — any voluntary muscle, even the ones in your pinky toes or lips.
Though a twitching muscle can be a troubling, attention-robbing symptom, it’s usually no cause for alarm.
Of course, you’ll want to get this verified with your primary care physician or a neurologist to rule out a more serious cause.
“Other causes that may trigger eyelid twitching,” says Dr. Seeni, “are alcohol, bright light, irritation on the eye surface or inner eyelids, smoking, and wind or air pollution.”
Additional possible causes are corneal abrasion, dry eye and inflammation of the uvea (pigmented layer of the eye).
It’s recommended that you do not Google twitching eyelid.
You may stumble upon all sorts of scary content and/or, you’ll end up spotting titles of links that suggest a life threatening disease.
Can a serious, though not overtly life threatening, condition ever cause an eyelid to “twitch” or tremor?
Dr. Seeni points out the following possible, but much rarer, causes:
- Bell’s palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cervical dystonia
- Tourette syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
However, if you have any of these five conditions, you will very likely have other symptoms — that get your attention far more than does a twitching eyelid.
They include facial paralysis, tremoring hands, unsteady gait, neck pain, headaches and an uncontrollable jerking of the head.
Just about anyone can experience a fasciculating eyelid. One time, my sister commented out of the blue, “My eyelid’s been twitching all day and it’s driving me crazy!” That was over 20 years ago and she’s still alive and kicking.
“Sometimes, eyelid twitching can be the earliest sign of a chronic movement disorder, especially if other facial spasms develop too,” says Dr. Seeni.
These much rarer possible causes need to be mentioned, in all fairness.
But don’t let that throw off your perspective.
Twitching eyelids are a fact of human life, and, at least in isolation from other symptoms, is not indicative of a disease process.
So to summarize the VERY MOST LIKELY causes of a relentlessly twitching eyelid:
Anxiety and Stress
Rubbing or Scratching the Eye
My eyelid once began twitching in response to a grueling set of heavy leg presses.
A Deficiency In Magnesium/Calcium/Potassium
To subdue the fascics, make sure you’re well-hydrated and are not deficient in these three minerals.
If you must rub or scratch your eyelid, do so gently, and try to manage anxiety and stress, along with taking eye breaks from the computer or any reading.