Eye twitching covers a wide range of ailments and is interpreted in many ways. If you are here because of a minor eyelid twitch you should be aware that this is almost always benign (harmless) and will resolve on its own within a few days. In some cases this can be an early symptom of more severe medical conditions including neurological diseases or damage. Always consult with a medical professional and be aware that no website is a substitute for professional medical care.
Please locate the area of your eye that is twitching below to obtain additional information.
Nystagmus: Characterized by movement of the eyeball. This occurs horizontally, vertically, and even diagonally. There are two primary classifications of nystagmus; pathological and physiological. Physiological nystagmus is actually a normal function of the vestibulo-ocular reflex and is very slight to the point of not being visible without special tools. Pathological nystagmus is easily visible and occurs as a result of congenital or acquired central nervous system disorders, toxicity, or drugs and intoxication.
Below is a video showing congenital horizontal nystagmus.
Eyelid Myokymia: Also known as benign eyelid twitching, this involuntary eyelid spasm can be extremely annoying but is almost always benign. Twitching can occur in either the upper or lower eyelid. In some rare cases this can be an early symptom of more severe neurological disorders such as Bells Palsy. However, in almost all cases this eye twitching will resolve itself in a few days.
Common causes of eyelid myokymia:
Below is a video showing eyelid myokymia.
Blepharospasm: Characterized by rapid and involuntary blinking and contraction of the muscles surrounding the eye. Although blepharospasm is almost always benign from a physical standpoint it can severely impact quality of life and mental health. Blepharospasm is broken into two major categories, benign essential blepharospasm which is harmless and has no known cause, and secondary blepharospasm which occurs as a result of another underlying condition such as toxic tear syndrome or neurological damage.
Below is a video showing blepharospasm.
Face and Eye Spasms
7th Cranial Nerve Injury: Usually results in one of two conditions, hemifacial spasm or Bell’s palsy.
Hemifacial Spasm: Marked by muscle spasms occurring on a single side of the face this condition is typically caused by a compression of the 7th cranial nerve. Onset can be gradual or sudden and treatment involves nerve decompression.
Below is a video showing hemifacial spasm.
Bell’s palsy Results in similar twitching to hemifacial spasm but is usually less severe and only occurs as a precursor to facial weakness or paralysis.