Eye twitching

Most people will recognise the sensation of a twitching eye. It’s very common and can occur to anyone at any time, usually coming and going on its own.

What are the symptoms of a twitching eye?

An eyelid twitch has the feeling of a flickering, quivering or gentle tug in the eyelid or under the eye. It can be repetitive, occurring every few seconds for a couple of minutes.

For many people, it may be that the twitching goes away after an episode like this, without you really noticing it. But eye twitching can come and go for several days for up to two weeks.

What causes eyelid twitches?

Eyelid twitches can occur at any time in your life, for no apparent reason. But there are a few lifestyle-related things that can trigger or worsen spasms, including:

  • Lack of sleep or tiredness
  • Dehydration
  • Feeling stressed or anxious
  • Eye strain
  • Eye irritation
  • Too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Side effects of certain medications

It can also be an indication of common eye conditions like blepharitis, dry eye syndrome, or conjunctivitis.

How can you treat a twitching eye?

Treatment for eye twitching is usually necessary for eyelid spasms, as they typically go away on their own after a few days, or a couple of weeks. As the common causes are lifestyle-related, there are a few things you can try in order to ease symptoms if they’re not going away:

  • Apply a warm compress to the affected eye to relax the muscles
  • Monitor your caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Take regular breaks from computer screens or television
  • Use eye drops regularly

Stronger and more frequent eyelid spasms could indicate a different type of eye twitch (benign essential blepharospasm) that develops later in life, usually in both eyes. Visit your optometrist or GP if you have any concerns about your eye twitch, or if your symptoms become chronic.

Did you know?

AA Members are entitled to a free eye test (valued at $60), once every two years. Remember to present your AA Membership card in store.

Frequently asked questions

Free exam for AA Members applies to standard eye examinations only, normally valued at $60. Excludes contact lens examination and visual field checks. Limited to one per AA Member every two years. Available to current AA Members upon presentation of AA Membership card.