Lower eyelid twitch, also termed as myokymia, is very common and could occur at any time of the day. Most of the twitching lasts only for a few seconds, and even though it may seem that the muscle spasm is visibly obvious to others, the trembling is only subtle and can be barely seen by other people. In some cases however, the twitching of the lower eyelid is more distinct. The severity of the twitching actually depends on the cause. Lower eyelid twitch is generally harmless and could only cause a slight distraction to the person concerned.
Common causes of lower eyelid twitch
The most common causes of lower eyelid twitch include stress, lack of sleep, too much caffeine intake, and over fatigue of the eyes. But why do these factors cause one’s eye to twitch? Let’s find out why:
- Stress – When a person is experiencing too much stress, this could lead to the build-up of tension that would alter the natural flow of the nerve signals to the brain. Because of this, the brain would sometimes lose control of the movements of certain muscles including the eye. This could then result to the occasional lower eyelid twitch.
- Overuse of the eyes – When the eyes are overworked, the surrounding muscles would involuntarily contract. Some activities where the eyes become worn out include reading a book for hours in dim light, watching television at a close distance and surfing the net or using the computer over long periods of time.
- Excess caffeine intake – Caffeine is beneficial for people who want to stay awake and be alert as it acts as a stimulant to the nerves of the brain. Moderate amounts of caffeine will do wonders; however, an overload of caffeine would give negative side effects such as palpitation of the heart, contraction of muscles and twitching of the eyelids.
- Insomnia – Insomnia is a sleeping disorder in which a person has difficulty sleeping at night but still manages to wake up early in the morning. This would cause strain to the tired eyes and stress to the individual. As a result, there would be lots of muscle contractions in the eyes including lower eyelid twitch.
- Dry Eyes – Aging would often result to dry eyes. If the eyes don’t have enough lubricant, it would become irritated and muscles often contract due to lack of fluid. Thus, spasm of the lower eyelid muscles could regularly happen.
- Others – other factors that could cause lower eyelid twitch would include constant squinting, Allergic reactions and a side effect to a certain medication like sleeping pills.
Serious conditions that could cause lower eyelid twitch
Twitching of the lower eyelid may also be indicative of a grave underlying health condition. Some of these are:
- Blepharospasm – Blepharospasm is a medical condition wherein the nerve impulses are not normal. This would cause a more extreme muscle spasm of the eyes that makes the person bat his eyes more often and experience eyelid twitching regularly. Sometimes, the eyes would also close involuntarily for a few seconds.
- Hemifacial spasm – This is a serious medical condition which involves the constriction of the seventh cranial nerve by the blood vessels. This would result to facial spasm that is more distinct around the eye region. In severe cases, contortion of half of the face can happen.
Treatment for Lower Eyelid Twitch
For minor causes of lower eyelid twitch, rest is the best remedy. You should get enough sleep and drink only moderate amounts of caffeine as well. For people who have problems with twitching of the eyelids due to dry eyes, there are available over-the-counter saline solutions that can help relieve dryness. Meanwhile, if you notice that the twitching started when you began taking a certain medication, this could indicate that the spasm might be an allergic reaction to a constituent of the drug. Minor lower eyelid twitch would eventually cease on its own.
However, if the lower eyelid twitch has been bothering you for quite some time and if other disturbing symptoms come with it, it is best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. For blepharospasm, the doctor might advice for you to have botulinum injections. Whereas for hemifacial spasm, the same treatment option for blepharospasm might help, but oftentimes, this type of spasm would need surgery in order for it to be totally corrected.
Lower eyelid twitch is nothing to be alarmed about. It is basically and commonly caused by stress and over fatigue of the eyes. You must be aware of the things that give strain to your optic nerves and avoid doing them to prevent twitching of the eyelids. Lower eyelid twitching would serve as a sign for you to take good care of your health. It is important to correct your way of living to remedy the problem rather than ignore it and risk complications or other graver health problems.