Ophthalmology & Optometry/Eye spasms


QUESTION: I've had off and on eye lid twitching for the past 6 weeks. It was mostly involving the left upper eye lid. In the past 5-6 days it is involving the right upper eye lid. Now more so on the right and less on the left.

I've been keeping a log and it's occurring every 2-6 minutes on the right and every 30 minutes on the right.

I have no other eye symptoms. The twitch isn't making my eye lid close...yet anyway. Nothing has changed in my life. I'm not stressed, sleep is the same. I only have 1 cup of tea a day.

Should I see a Physician regarding this?

ANSWER: Hi Katherine,
though you don't state your age, as long as you're otherwise healthy, no cramping nor twitching elsewhere in your body, we usually dismiss these benign lid twitches also called 'myokymia'.  Maybe you are not as well rested or exercised as before, or stress is more than realized, who knows.  They will go away eventually. you can see your doctor, maybe have the thyroid checked. Sometimes a tonic water having quinine can help or an old style sedating antihistamine like Benadryl or chlor-trimeton can help. there is a more serious side to bad and complicated presentations that can be worked up, but it would be rare indeed.  Give it some more time, and if not better see your doctor.
Hope you get all better soon,
Mitch Axelrod, OD

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your valuable information. I am a 39 year old healthy person.

I will try the tonic water. What a great idea.

Is it common to persist for 5-6 days?

ANSWER: It's common to persist for weeks or months on and off. Still, since I don't know your med history or details, I can't reassure you 100%, so do see your doctor if the twitching doesn't resolve.
Mitch Axelrod,OD

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I am very impressed at how efficiently you answered my questions. Thank you.

I don't have any medical conditions. I did have a nasty inner ear virus that did some damage to the vestibular nerve last April 2014. The symptoms have mostly resolved. Aside from some mild tinnitus.

Today is day 7 of the twitching (both eyes, but not at the same time). ranging from every 5 minutes to every 45 minutes. At what point should I see a Physician? Another week? or?

Thank you

If you are well rested, hydrated, not caffeinated nor unusually stressed, give it another week.  You are experiencing pretty frequent episodes, so I would want some improvement soon, though perhaps not a total resolve, to begin in a week. We didn't discuss glasses, but if you are 'straining your eyes' and not using glasses that have been recommended then do eliminate eye strain as a cause.
Thank you,
Mitch Axelrod, OD

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Mitchell Axelrod


I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.


Optometrist 19 yrs.

Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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