• What Is an Eyelid Spasm or Twitching Eyelid?

    Written By: Kierstan Boyd
    Sep. 01, 2017

    What are eyelid spasms?

    Eyelid spasms are when one or both of your eyelids twitch or suddenly close. These movements are involuntary, meaning that they are out of your control.

    The most common types of eyelid spasms are: eyelid twitch (or tic), essential blepharospasm, and hemifacial spasm.

    What is an eyelid twitch?

    An eyelid twitch (or tic) is when your eyelid quickly moves a little. This movement does not affect your vision. Eyelid twitches are common, and often caused by stress and being tired.

    Most eyelid twitches are minor and go away without treatment. You can often get rid of eyelid twitching by getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and limiting your caffeine.

    If your twitches seem to be getting worse, be sure to tell your ophthalmologist.

    What is essential blepharospasm?

    Essential blepharospasm is when one or both of your eyelids close involuntarily. This can last for a few seconds to a few hours. When it first starts, you might blink, wink, or pinch up your face. In advanced stages, your eyelids may shut so tightly you cannot see. These spasms can also affect other muscles in your face. It may be hard to climb stairs, drive a car, go to work, or do other things.

    Doctors know blepharospasm is caused by a nerve impulse, but they are not sure why it happens.

    What is a hemifacial spasm?

    Hemifacial spasm is when muscles on one side of your face constrict (tighten up). These spasms may start near your eye and then affect other parts of your face. In advanced cases, a hemifacial spasm can last for several days to a few months.

    Hemifacial spasms seem to develop when a blood vessel presses on a facial nerve.