Eye twitching treatment
Most eyelid twitches go away on their own and don't require medical attention. However, basic eye twitching treatment may help your eyelid stop twitching.
A twitching eyelid, also known as myokymia or blepharospasm, is a problem almost everyone will experience at some point in their lives. But simple treatment methods, including stress management and improved nutrition and sleeping habits, can help not only eliminate eye twitching but prevent it from occurring altogether.
How to treat eye twitching
Your lifestyle can affect how often you get eyelid twitches and how long they take to go away. By reducing or removing certain triggers, you may be able to get rid of an ongoing eye twitch and reduce your chances of getting another one in the future.
Find ways to manage stress
Stress is thought to be the most common reason our eyes twitch. High stress levels can interfere with many of the body’s natural processes. Reducing stress isn’t always easy, but you can start by integrating healthy habits like walking, exercise and meditation into your daily routine.
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Sleep deprivation is believed to be one of the primary causes of eye twitching. Creating a healthy sleep schedule takes work, but it can pay off with numerous health benefits (including reducing or eliminating eye twitches). For starters, try reducing your caffeine consumption (especially later in the day), limiting nighttime screen use and going to bed at the same time every night.
Include more nutritious whole foods in your diet
A poor diet can cause problems throughout your body — eye twitches included. Vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 affect how well your nerves communicate with your muscles. A deficiency in one of these may eventually cause your eyelid to twitch.
By adding healthy, natural foods to your diet, especially foods that are filled with the right nutrients, you may be able to fend off eye twitches. Vitamin supplements can help in some situations, but talk to your doctor before you start taking them.
Reduce caffeine, alcohol and tobacco intake
Regular caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use have been associated with twitching eyelids. By reducing the amount you consume, you might be able to get rid of a stubborn twitch, or prevent another one altogether.
SEE RELATED: Eyebrow twitching
Spend less time with digital screens
In addition to its effects on sleep quality, screen overuse is one of the most common causes of eye strain and dry eyes. In turn, these can lead to eye twitching.
When you can’t avoid using screens for long hours, use the “20-20-20 rule” to reduce dry eyes and eye strain: Every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Try eye drops
Eye drops can help treat two potential causes of eye twitching: dry eyes and eye allergies. While artificial tears can help relieve discomfort from either problem, allergy-specific eye drops can reduce the redness and irritation caused by allergic conjunctivitis.
If you have seasonal or environmental allergies, your eye doctor may recommend oral allergy pills that block the body’s reaction at the source, improving any eye-related symptoms as a result.
Schedule an eye exam
Going years without updating your vision prescription is an all-too-common occurrence. In addition to monitoring the health of your eyes, regular eye exams ensure your vision is as sharp as possible. When your prescription is outdated, you strain to see clearly. This can lead to uncomfortable eye strain, and even secondary symptoms like eye twitching.
Scheduling an eye exam also gives you the chance to talk to an eye doctor about the possible cause(s) and treatment for a twitching eyelid.
SEE RELATED: Eye twitching causes
When to see a doctor
If eye twitching affects your vision or doesn’t go away after a few weeks, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor or family physician. Additional treatment may be needed for more severe cases of eye twitching.
These treatment options can include:
Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections
Medications like clonazepam (Klonopin) and lorazepam (Ativan)
Acupuncture, hypnotherapy or other forms of alternative medicine
While rare, eyelid twitching can be a symptom of another condition. Talk to a doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms in addition to eye twitching:
One or both eyelids drooping
Eye pain, redness or swelling
Discharge coming from your eye
Difficulty opening the affected eyelid
Muscle twitches in your face or another part of your body
READ MORE: When to worry about eye twitching
Page published in December 2020
Page updated in January 2021