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What Causes Upper Eyelid Twitching?

Nicks J Oct 30, 2018
Fatigue, stress and eye problems are some of the causes of upper eyelid twitching. Scroll down to know how to treat this eyelid problem.

Did You Know?

Minimizing intake of caffeinated beverages, taking adequate sleep and better stress management, often works to stop and prevent eyelid twitches.
The muscles of the upper eyelids are controlled by a group of nerves that send and receive signals from the brain. When the electrical signals of the brain, passing through the nerve reach their destination, muscle movement takes place.
Twitching refers to repeated uncontrolled contraction of upper or lower eyelid muscles. This abnormal muscle movement is not regulated by the brain hence the word 'involuntary ' is commonly associated with eyelid twitching. Disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain is one of the main causes of eyelid twitching.

Reasons for Spasm of Eyelid

Eyelid twitching usually lasts for a minute or two but sometimes may continue for hours and even days. Causes are discussed here:


Long hours of physical work, eventually makes us extremely tired. The eyelid may twitch consistently or intermittently as a response to fatigue. However, with adequate rest at night, one will not experience these annoying movements of upper eyelids in the morning.


We often face a stressful situation in our day-to-day routine. Stress disturbs mental health and affects various bodily functions. Physical effects of stress manifest as increased blood pressure, faster heart beats and even upper eyelid fluttering.


Caffeinated beverages can also be the culprits behind repetitive fluttering of upper eyelids. Too much consumption of coffee, tea or even alcohol can cause repeated involuntary contraction of upper eyelid muscles.

Dry Eyes

Eye problems like dry eyes can also trigger uncontrolled movement of upper eyelids. Dry eyes is a condition in which the glands found below the upper eye lids do not produce enough tears. Basically, tear is a mixture containing water, oil and mucus that keeps the eyes moist and protects them from infections.
However, inadequate production of tears causes dry eyes and is typically marked by sensitivity to light and burning sensation in the eyes. Upper eyelid twitching is considered to be one of the symptoms of dry eyes. Twitching may occur frequently or at intermediate periods as long as the eye condition persists.

Upper Eyelid Swelling

Upper eyelid swelling resulting from a bacterial infection or a blocked oil gland, could be the culprit behind twitching. The swelling appears as a form of small lump on the eyelid and is often accompanied by involuntary spasms.

Eye Strain

Working on the computer for long periods of time uninterruptedly make the eyes tired. In today's times, eye strain is one of the common causes of upper eyelid twitching.
According to left eye twitching superstition, this abnormal movement is a warning sign of trouble that will be soon coming and bother that person for quite some time. However, this belief has no scientific backing and so it would be foolish to support this superstition.

Brain Stimulants

Involuntary blinking of upper eyelids can also occur as a side effect of certain medicines. Brain stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine that help to improve concentration in ADHD children can also cause eyelid twitching.
All these medications stimulate certain areas of the brain, which alters the way the electrical impulses are sent through the nerves. Although, this may help to slow down hyperactivity and control irrational behavior, it can create disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain, eventually causing uncontrolled upper and lower eyelid movements.

Too Much Exposure to Bright Light

People who are sensitive to bright light may experience eyelid twitches. Every time they're exposed to bright light, repeated contraction of upper eyelid muscles occurs. Those, who are already suffering from upper eyelid spasms are advised to stay away from bright light, because, spasmodic activity of eyelids often aggravates in the presence of bright light.

How to Get Rid of Eyelid Twitches

In most cases, upper eyelid fluttering does not require any medical treatment. It is a temporary problem that many times does not last for more than a minute. However, intense twitching that does not stop on its own is treated by administering botulinum toxin injections at the affected site.
The injected material interferes with the nerve signals and prevents them from reaching the upper eyelid muscles. Upper eyelid surgery, also known as myectomy is the last option. This surgical procedure involves removing upper eyelid muscles affected with spasms. Upon removal of the affected muscles, twitching will be a thing of the past.
Staying away from common triggers of eyelid twitching is necessary to minimize the occurrence of involuntary blinking. As coffee could possibly stimulate and even worsen eyelid spasms, it is advised to reduce or skip its consumption.
For dry eyes, one may use eye drops (after consulting a doctor) that provide lubrication to the eyes. Wearing sunglasses that protect the eyes from bright light can also be helpful to reduce the frequency of eyelid twitching.