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What are the Most Common Causes of an Eye Twitch?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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An eye twitch is normally not caused by anything specific and is something that most people experience at some time or another in their lives. There is evidence to suggest that eye twitches might become more frequent if a person has had an excess amount of caffeine, alcohol, or is suffering from a lack of sleep. Blepharospasm is a disorder affecting a small number of the population that may cause uncontrollable eye twitches along with dry eyes and sensitivity to light. Very rarely, an eye twitch might indicate more serious problems such as disorders of the brain or nerves.

For the majority of people, the occasional eye twitch might be slightly annoying but is probably nothing to worry about. A person who is experiencing an eye twitch might want to think about her recent activities to see what may have caused it. Some people have eye twitches that coincide with drinking coffee or alcohol. Research also indicates that smoking might contribute to a higher frequency of eye twitches. People who are under a lot of stress or are not getting adequate amounts of sleep at night may additionally experience problems with twitching eyes.

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People who have blepharospasm have problems with the muscles around their eyes moving uncontrollably, resulting in frequent eye twitches. The cause of blepharospasm is not known, but most doctors agree that it is not a serious problem. People who suffer from blepharospasm might have continual problems with twitching eyes, or they might only notice eye twitches occasionally. For some people, blepharospasm may go away for months at a time before returning. People who have blepharospasm normally complain of eye dryness in addition to eye twitching, and in some cases the twitching is so severe that the eyelids will close completely.

Even though an eye twitch is usually not a sign of any serious problem, a doctor's visit may be necessary if the twitching continues for two to three weeks without stopping. It is also cause for concern when other parts of a person's face are twitching along with the eyes. Brain and nerve disorders, such as Bell's palsy, Parkinson's, or dystonia might be to blame when eye twitching is chronic and happens along with facial twitching. Frequent eye twitching may actually be the result of blepharospasm rather than a problem with the brain or nerves, but only a doctor can make a firm diagnosis of any disorder.

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