Eye Health

Why Is My Eye Twitching?

David Mitchell - Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I've had several people ask this question in the past few weeks, so thought it warranted addressing it here.

That annoying lid twitch, that may feel like a rippling or vibration in your eyelid, is called myokymia.  It actually feels much more dramatic than it looks, and while you may feel like others will see it, the spasm is usually much too subtle to be noticed.

These twitches, tics, and spasms are actually pretty common, and can last for weeks or even months. 

So the real question is, what causes them, and how can I get them to go away?

This kind of lid twitch can be caused by a veritable "laundry list" of factors, including: 

  • Stress
  • Tiredness/lack of sleep
  • Increased caffeine intake
  • Decreased caffeine intake
  • Alcohol
  • Dry Eyes
  • Allergies
  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Eyestrain/Eye fatigue
So that narrows it down, right?  I'm sure most of us could pick 2 or 3 things from that list and blame just about anything on them!
Treating lid myokymia can be tricky.  Sometimes OTC antihistamines may help, but may also lead to dry eyes (which can make it worse).
Because quinine was once used as a remedy, some advocate tonic water (with or without gin-- see alcohol listed as a cause above!).
If an eye examination uncovers uncorrected refractive error or an issue like dry eye syndrome, then compensating for those issues will likely resolve the lid twitch.

Why Is My Eye Twitching?