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When Is Eye Twitching Serious?

January 1 2022

Most everyone has experienced an eye twitch or spasm that goes away on its own at some point in their life. When eye spasms persist over long periods, something else more serious may be causing it. In this post, a Marysville, WA optometrist talks about eye twitches, their causes, and how to tell when it’s time for an eye exam.

What Is an Eye Twitch?

An eye twitch involves an involuntary spasm or movement of your eyelid that can’t be controlled. It usually happens in the upper eyelid where your lid may move every few seconds for a minute or two. A twitch can happen several times throughout the day or just once a twice. In severe cases, repeated twitching can interfere with your vision.

In general, there are three main types of involuntary eye spasms:

Myokymia – the most common form, typically only affects one eye, and usually goes away after a few days

Blepharospasm- affects both eyes and can progress to the point where daily activities, such as reading and driving, become difficult

Hemifacial – usually affects just one eye but spasms can spread to all the facial muscles on the same side of the face as the affected eye

What Can Cause It?

Stress, exhaustion, and having too much caffeine are the most common causes of eye twitching. People with a history of head injury, have an increased risk of developing an eye spasm. If the condition runs in your family, you may also be at greater risk.

Here are a few other things that can cause involuntary eye spasms:

  • Bright lights
  • Something irritating the eyelids or eye surface
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Dry eyes
  • Scratched cornea
  • Inflamed eyelid

When Should I See My Eye Doctor About It?

While most cases of eye twitching tend to go away on their own, if it reaches the point where it’s affecting your quality of life, something more serious than stress or exhaustion may be the cause. If an eye twitch persists for weeks or months or becomes particularly bothersome, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your optometrist.

When one or more of the following symptoms accompanies eye twitching, it’s time to call your eye doctor:

  • Your eyelid closes with each twitch
  • Your eyelids start to droop
  • It’s difficult to open the affected eye
  • Your eye produces discharge or appears red or swollen
  • Your vision is compromised

If you have more questions about eye twitching or want to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call your Marysville, WA optometrist today.

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Grandview Optometry


16616 Twin Lakes Ave
Marysville, WA 98271
(Inside Marysville/Smokey Point Costco)


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