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Twitching of the eyes/blepharospasm


Recently, I got an e-mail from a dear colleague, and her question was as follows:

Dear Dr Onu,

Maybe you might consider answering this question in an upcoming column: For the last 2 months or so, both my upper eyelids have been jumping uncontrollably. With time, I find that the jumping has increased in frequency and intensity.{{more}} Right now, as I type this email, they are jumping non-stop. What is causing this to happen and how can I make it stop? By the way, do you think I should make an appointment to see you?


Dear Concerned,

When we talk about eyes jumping, what we refer to is a twitching of the eyes. Another word for that is blepharospasm.

One can also refer to it as an eye muscle spasm. This involuntary twitching or abnormal blinking of the eyelids is usually caused by contractions of the muscles around the eyelids that are uncontrolled.

Sometimes people experience the twitching in one or both of the eyes. In short, blepharospasm is a blinking disorder. One type, called benign essential blepharospasm, is not life-threatening, but has no known causes. Another type may be associated with dry eyes, tired eyes, people that have tourettes syndrome, or people with other neurological problems.

What one must know, however, is that eye twitching can be very annoying, and sometimes these spasms appear over time and keep recurring. Spasms that cause twitching on only one side of the face are called hemi-facial spasms.

If you have mild eye twitching, then this may usually go away on its own, but can also be a result of stress on the eyes.

It is very important to keep stress under control. Get plenty of sleep to keep the eye muscles rested. Take frequent breaks from the computer and use eye drops to moisturize the eyes, especially in cases of dry eye.

If the problem persists, do not hesitate to consult your ophthalmologist. It could be something more serious that may require medication.

On that note, I want to thank you for the questions and also let you know how much I appreciate and enjoy your comments. Please keep them coming.


Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]
Tel: 784 456-1210