An eyelid twitch or tic is a short, sudden jerking of your eyelid that you cannot control.
What is the cause?
Healthcare providers are not sure why eyelid twitches happen. Possible causes include:
Stress, tiredness, or eyestrain
Diet problems such as too much caffeine, not drinking enough water, or having low levels of magnesium or potassium in your blood
What are the symptoms?
One or both of your eyelids may twitch.
How is it diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and activities and examine your eyes.
How is it treated?
Eyelid twitches usually go away without treatment in less than 2 days. If you have severe eyelid twitching that does not go away, you may need shots of medicine around your eye. In some cases, when the twitching is affecting your vision, surgery may be needed.
If your eyelid twitch is caused by a vision problem, your provider may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses.
How can I take care of myself?
It may help if you:
Cut down on the caffeine in your diet.
Drink enough liquids to keep your urine light yellow in color.
Use artificial tears.
Wear sunglasses in bright sunlight to keep from squinting. Squinting can make eyelid twitches worse.
If doing one task for a long time is causing eyestrain, it may help to take short breaks to let your eyes rest. At least every 20 minutes look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
How can I help prevent eye twitches?
Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Eat a healthy diet and keep a healthy weight.
Stay fit with the right kind of exercise for you.
If you smoke, try to quit. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to quit smoking.
Learn to manage stress. Ask for help at home and work when the load is too great to handle. Find ways to relax, for example take up a hobby, listen to music, watch movies, or take walks. Try deep breathing exercises when you feel stressed.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-10-27 Last reviewed: 2014-10-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Eyelid Twitch: References
American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2013-2014 Basic and Clinical Science Course. San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2013; v.1-13.
Yanoff M and Duker JS. Ophthalmology, 4th edition. Philadelphia: Mosby, 2013.