Eyelid spasms or eyelid twitches are little spasms that affect the muscles in the lower or upper eyelid. Most of the times these spasms are harmless. Although they are involuntary, the person experiencing them can feel the twitching as it happens. Depending on the strength of the spasms it can be quite distracting, but luckily these spasms are generally brief.
Despite the majority of eye spasms being brief, there have been reports of some spasms episode lasting hours at a time. If a person is experiencing persistent deep spasms of the eye and around the face, they should see a doctor because that could be a sign of a more serious under-lying condition.
There are several causes for eye spasms. One of the most common is stress. Another common cause that is becoming more responsible in today’s tech world is muscle strain. As a result of prolonged computer use and focusing on a screen a person may begin to develop spasms. Lack of sleep can also be the culprit for eye spasms, and on the contrast the over consumption of caffeine may also cause these twitches. Sleep aids can also contribute to eyelid spasms. An undocumented side effect of the popular sleep aid Ambien is eyelid spasms.
There are different types of spasms that exist. The eyelid twitch is the most common and can be treated like muscles spasms in the body. With rest and relaxation the muscle should be repaired and the spasms should cease. Essential Blepharospasms are a different type of eyelid spasms. These types of spasms are more severe and generally affect both eyes. The spasms can be so violent that they may shut the eyelid. Hemifacial spasms are also another type of severe spasms. These spasms affect one side of the face and not only interfere with a person’s eyelids but also with their muscles around their mouth. This is a result of an artery pressing on the nerves of facial muscles, in turn making them twitch.
Treatment for eyelid spasms varies. For regular eyelid twitch, there isn’t really a treatment since they go away on their own. People can take precautions to help prevent them in the future such as cutting back on their sugar, sugar substitutes, and caffeine. For Essential Belpharospams, Botulinum, or Botox, injection is usually the action of choice. On the downside this treatment may need to be repeated every several months. Hemifacial spasms are a bit more serious and may require surgery to help alleviate the pressure from the artery of the nerve.