Why do my eyes twitch?

Eyelid twitch or myokimia is usually a benign, self-limiting, unilateral eye disorder that causes the muscle in the eyelid to quiver rapidly. The episode usually lasts for few seconds, but may repeat throughout the day. The lower eyelid has more predilection than the upper eyelid for this condition. Symptoms exhibited by the patients are mild in nature and include irritation and nuisance. Rarely does it cause any pain.

The exact etiology of myokimia is not known. However, some factors tend to make them worse. Excessive consumption of caffeine, energy drinks, and alcohol may cause the eyelid twitch. Lack of sleep, stress and anxiety, and excessive use of digital devices can also precipitate this condition. In some cases, eyelid myokymia is associated certain disorders like hemifacial spasm, blepharospasm, and multiple sclerosis.

Because of its benign nature, the affected patient usually recovers without any treatment. Though it may happen within days, it may last for months in some patients. In mild cases, no treatment is warranted. In cases when it lasts for more several days, one should see their eye doctors. Symptoms other than twitching, such as pain, discharge from the eye, photophobia, facial numbness, or blurred vision should alert the patient to see a doctor sooner than later. An antihistamine treatment can help in some myokimia patient. Reducing contributing factors like excessive caffeine and energy drinks and stress can also be effective. Sometimes, myokimia can be caused by a magnesium deficiency. Therefore, foods that have high magnesium can be taken to relieve symptoms. Botox injection is another treatment regimen for affected patients. It is injected into the eyelid and can provide relief for upto 3 months; and it can be repeated. Anti-epileptic drugs are helpful in some cases. Surgery is used to as a last resort.