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Twitching eyelids are common. The medical name for this is blepharospasm:

Eye twitching can come and go unpredictably for a few days, weeks or months. The spasms don't hurt, but they can be annoying. In its most common form, eye twitching is harmless and stops on its own, although it may recur occasionally.

It can occur often throughout the day. The eyelid will rhythmically twitch. It will stop on it's own if nothing is done. Sometimes if it's pinched, it stops.

What causes this, and what can someone do to prevent it?

I've read this could be related to tiredness or stress. Are there other causes?

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"Normal" eyelid twitching can possibly be caused or be made worse by lack of sleep, or too much caffeine or stress. That information can be found unsourced on a lot of websites, including with such qualifiers as "many experts say". I couldn't find a single source - which doesn't mean it doesn't exist, or say that these things don't cause eyelid twitches.

The Kellogg Eye Centre at the University of Michigan just says:

The cause of minor eyelid twitch is unknown.

And for treatment:

Minor eyelid twitches require no treatment as they usually resolve spontaneously. Reducing stress, using warm soaks, correction of any refractive error, and lubrication of the eye with artificial tears may help. Some ophthalmologists recommend reducing caffeine usage

The University of Maryland Medical Center mentions, just like a lot of sources, caffeine, sleep and stress

The most common things that make the muscle in your eyelid twitch are fatigue, stress, and caffeine.

And for treatment:

Eyelid twitching most often goes away without treatment. In the meantime, the following steps may help:

  • Get more sleep.
  • Drink less caffeine.
  • Lubricate your eyes with eye drops

If twitching is severe or lasts a long time, small injections of botulinum toxin can control the spasms

However, since you specifically mentioned blepharospasm, I am going to include some information on what's called benign essential blepharospasm. That's a condition that worsens with age, and often ends up including more face muscles than just the eyelids. It's probably caused at least in part by genetics, but the exact gene responsible for it remains unclear. Treatment for it includes medication, for example dopamine inhibitors, botox injections, and even surgery to remove the eyelid muscle.

Interestingly, for benign essential blepharospasm, drinking coffee might actually delay onset of the disease.

Sources

Kellogg Eye Center

University of Maryland Medical Center

Benign essential blepharospasm

Benign essential blepharospasm @ rarediseases.org

Update on blepharospasm

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There are three core factors that contribute to eye twitching: caffeine consumption, stress, and fatigue.

If you’ve been noticing that your sleep has been disturbed or if you haven’t been getting enough of zzz time, you may expect daytime tiredness along with eye twitching. So if your eyelids have been bothering you lately, it may be wise to look at your sleep schedule.

Caffeine is a popular stimulant many of us drink to stay alert. But sometimes that surge of energy not only keeps you awake, but also causes your eyes to twitch. If you consume lots of coffee or even energy drinks on a daily basis, you may want to cut back in order to minimize eye twitching. Keep in mind that smoking and alcohol consumption can contribute to eye twitching, too.

Stress can play a large role in eye twitches, too. Stress-induced eye twitching can be more nerve-racking, as it may take place during important moments. For example, maybe you’re stressed out about putting a dinner party together. Well, now, not only are you trying to keep things under control, but your annoying eye twitch won’t stop either! All you can do here is handle stress at the best of your ability. And stop thinking about your eye twitch – otherwise, it will only add to the pressure of the moment. Relaxation techniques and other coping mechanisms should be utilized in order to lower stress, which in turn will reduce the eye twitch.

Although these three factors are the most common causes for eyelid twitching, other causes include mineral deficiencies like lack of magnesium, dry eyes, eye strain from looking at a screen, incorrect eye glass prescription, allergies, alcohol consumption, smoking, an underlying eye problem, jaw clenching or teeth grinding. In some cases, eye twitching can be an early symptom of a serious medical condition including hypoglycemia, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and neurological dysfunction. If eye twitching worsens or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should see your doctor to determine the exact cause.

Treatment options for eyelid twitching

Treatment options for eyelid twitching depend on the underlying cause. For example, if excessive caffeine is causing your eyelids to twitch, you may need to cut back on your favorite drink. If fatigue or stress is the cause, then more rest or effective stress-reducing remedies are needed.

You may have to work towards getting more sleep, start drinking less caffeine, apply cold compresses to your eyes, make it a point to look away from screens often, reduce stress, use artificial tears and other eye drops, and ensure you are getting adequate nutrition. These are just some ways to address eyelid twitching, but treatment may vary based on the cause.

Proper treatment of eyelid twitches may also aid with prevention. For example, if you are sleeping more and, therefore, are well rested, you may be able to get rid of your existing eye twitching problem and avoid future occurrences.

Tips to manage your eye twitching

Apply hot and cold compresses to the eyelid Try acupuncture or massages to ease tension and reduce stress Reduce stress as best as possible Reduce your intake of caffeine Get more sleep Try a face steam

Source: Eyelid twitching causes, treatment, and prevention

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