Myokymia (Eyelid Twitch or Tic): Causes & Treatment
Myokymia refers to a twitching or spasming of the eyelid. This phenomenon is common and happens at some point in time to most people.
It is typically preventable and can be managed by making a few lifestyle adjustments. However, if it does not go away after a few days, it is best to go see a doctor to make sure the spasming is not related to an underlying neurological condition.
What Is Myokymia?
Myokymia refers to a twitching or spasming of the eyelid. Twitches are brief or continuous involuntary contractions of a single muscle or group of muscles.
This can occur in either the lower or upper eyelid, or both at the same time. However, myokymia most commonly occurs in one eyelid at a time.
This phenomenon can range from being very noticeable to virtually undetectable.
Causes & Risk Factors
The causes of myokymia are not well understood. This condition can be related to stress, excessive intake of caffeine, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies. Accordingly, chronic and intensive stress, high levels of caffeine consumption, a lack of fluid intake, and poor diet are risk factors for myokymia.
Deficiency in electrolytes, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and magnesium can potentially trigger this condition. Some medications may also lead to spasming of the eye, such as certain antidepressants, antihistamines, cholesterol drugs, neuroleptics, and dopaminergic agents.
The symptoms of myokymia include mild to intense twitching and spasming of the eye. This condition is typically not painful, but it can lead to feelings of annoyance or anxiety and temporarily distracted or disrupted vision.
An eye doctor can diagnose myokymia and rule out other contributing factors that may cause eye twitching or spasming.
See a doctor if your condition lasts for more than a few days or after you have modified your diet and improved your sleep habits, and the issue is still present. Also see a doctor if you are unable to open your eye, a condition called blepharospasm.
Myokymia may also be caused by an underlying neurological condition, so it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment of Myokymia
Most often, myokymia goes away on its own, but it’s hard to predict exactly when that will happen.
Myokymia can potentially be managed by reducing stress, getting more sleep, consuming a balanced diet, and increasing hydration. If your myokymia is caused by blepharospasm and does not resolve through self-care, then Botox is an effective treatment.
Prevention methods involve living a healthy and low-stress style of life, consuming plenty of fluids, and getting enough sleep.
Is myokymia serious?
It is not likely that myokymia is serious. It is very common, and it usually passes on its own. However, it is important to see a doctor if your condition lasts for more than a few days and/or self-care strategies do not get rid of symptoms.
How do I get rid of myokymia?
You can alleviate symptoms of myokymia by reducing stress, increasing sleep, consuming a health and balanced diet, and drinking plenty of fluids.
Does myokymia go away?
Myokymia typically goes away on its own after a few hours to weeks. Sometimes, it goes away after making a few lifestyle modifications like those mentioned above. If it does not, make sure to see a doctor as soon as you can to make sure a neurological condition is not the cause.
Eyelid Myokymia. (August 2022). StatPearls.
Myokymia (Eyelid Twitch or Tic). (2022). American Optometric Association.
Twelve Cases of Drug-Induced Blepharospasm Improved Within 2 Months of Psychotropic Cessation. (June 2011). Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety.
Will Tonic Water Stop My Eyelid Twitching? (March 2020). Clinical Ophthalmology.
Chronic Myokymia Limited to the Eyelid Is a Benign Condition. (December 2004). Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology.
Last Updated January 21, 2023
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