Help and frequently asked questions

Why is my eyelid twitching?


The occasional eyelid twitch is usually nothing to worry about, but if it becomes a persistent or recurring issue there could be a number of reasons why. Eye twitches (known as blepharospasms) are the repetitive and uncontrollable blinking or spasms of your eyelid. It is most common in the upper eyelid. The frequency at which the eyelid spasms may be every few seconds or minutes and there are several factors that could cause or aggravate the condition. Common causes of an eyelid twitch include:

  • Staring at a computer screen for long periods
  • Tiredness
  • Caffeine, smoking or alcohol
  • Stress
  • Minor irritation of the eye
  • Medications

Most of these twitches are harmless and do not require further medical attention. Despite some annoyance, the twitch will likely go away once you remove the exacerbating factor.

My eyelid twitch won't go away. What could be causing it?

While most eyelid twitches are a minor problem, if the issue becomes chronic and persistent there could be various underlying causes.If the symptoms recur over a period of days, weeks or even months, you should visit an optometrist to help discover the cause and receive treatment. This is particularly true if the twitch is causing emotional distress or problems at work. Should a twitch persist so much that it becomes winking or squinting and you have trouble keeping your eyes open, it could be for one of these reasons:

  • Blepharitis (a condition where the eyelids become inflamed)
  • Light sensitivity
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dry eye

There are also some nerve and brain disorders that could cause uncontrollable blinking, such as:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Bell's palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis

While it is unlikely you are suffering one of these conditions, particularly without other symptoms, it is always best to have them ruled out as quickly as possible.