Eyelid Twitches (Blepharospasm)

Eyelid twitches are usually painless and harmless, but they can be annoying! Our Optometrist, Nick, gives you a bit of info about eyelid twitches and some tips about easing them.

Eyelid twitches can happen to either the upper or lower eyelids or both. They usually resolve themselves on their own, generally within a few days or weeks. Image source:

Why are my eyelids twitching?

Twitching is usually related to the nerves, where a nerve conduction problem causes the muscle(s) around the eye to involuntarily contact.

Some of the causes include:

  • Stress

  • Fatigue or lack of sleep

  • Excessive caffeine

  • Vitamin deficiency

  • Vitamin B12- This vitamin is important in energy metabolism, health red blood cell function and nerves. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 can cause shaky movements, muscle weakness and hypotension. There may be an underlying medical condition in the case of B12 deficiency.

  • Vitamin D- This vitamin is important in the uptake and regulation of calcium, which works on muscle contraction. The best form of Vitamin D is generally spending adequate time in the sun.

  • Electrolyte Imbalance- The body needs adequate electrolytes and fluid for your muscles to function properly. These include Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, and in lesser amounts, Chlorine and Phosphate. If you have been drinking or are dehydrated due to illness, sport, or simply a lack of fluid intake, your electrolytes may be out of balance and cause muscle contraction, spasms or shaking.

Great- How do I make them Stop?

Unfortunately there is no definite way to stop this twitching- it is simply your nerves randomly firing. Some have suggested that massaging the lid or the use of a warm compress over the affected eye for approximately three minutes may help relieve the affected muscles.

For chronic twitching (blepharospasm), there are some treatment options available to reduce it's occurrence, such as oral medication or Botox. Botox is a powerful poison used in incredibly small doses. It is injected into the muscles of the eyelids to temporarily paralyse the muscle, relaxing the spasm. It's effects are temporary however, so after a few months the treatment will have to be repeated if desired.

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