What Causes Eye Twitches


The Truth About Eye Twitches

There you are, minding your own business as you work away at a project or watch a movie, when there’s a tug on your eyelid.

Twitch, twitch.

Maybe it’s your upper lid, or it could be the lower. Right eye, left eye– it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that it’s downright annoying.

What is an eye twitch?

Mild involuntary movement of the eyelid, generally described as an eye twitch, spasm or tic is quite common. It can involve either the top or bottom eyelid, and sometimes both at the same time. As a rule, these spasms are unpredictable, coming and going at random, sometimes lasting for just a few minutes and at other times happening off and on for days, weeks or even months at a time.

The medical term for an eye twitch is myokymia, which is essentially a rippling contraction of the eyelid muscle. The good news is that this condition is rarely dangerous. The bad news is that there is really no cure for it.


What causes eye twitches?

Myokymia can be caused by a variety of things, including fatigue, stress or eye strain. It’s difficult to know the culprit, so the best option is to look to your lifestyle and habits for clues. Do you get enough sleep? Are you drinking large amounts of caffeine? Are you under significant stress in your home or work life, or both?

Eye TwitchesEye strain can also cause a rise in eye twitches. If you don’t wear glasses that are appropriate for the type of work you do or activities you enjoy, your eyes may become strained and uncomfortable, resulting in that annoying tic. Do you work on a computer all day? Does your hobby or work involve long-term focus on small details (such as needlework, fly tying, assembly of small parts)?

Specialty frames and prescriptions are available for virtually any work or leisure activity you may enjoy. As eye doctors, we can help you determine whether another pair of glasses could reduce eye strain—not only making you more comfortable and productive, but also potentially reducing those pesky eye twitches.


Know when to call your eye doctor if you’re having an eye twitch.

There are some symptoms that require immediate attention. You should see an eye doctor if any of the following occur:

  • Twitching causes your eyelid to close completely
  • Simultaneous or related spasms anywhere else in the face
  • Your eye is red, swollen, or issues discharge
  • Your upper eyelid droops

When these occur, an eye exam can help us know if there’s a more serious underlying cause of the eye twitch and recommend any treatment(s) needed.

And as always, if you have questions about eye twitches or any eye problem, Bauer & Clausen Optometry is here here to help answer them. Contact us today to schedule your appointment in our Billings office.