Should I be concerned that my left eyelid has been twitching for more than a month?Eye Health
Left lower eyelid twitching for more than a month. It started to twitch during my exam preparation since mid November 2017 till now. I’m not sure if this is a symptom of some kind of disease. Or just the stress build up during the exam period. Now I am free from exam but it still keep twitching on and off daily till now. Anyone can help?
Eyelid twitching or blepharospasm is very common. Almost everyone would have experienced it at least once in their lifetime. It comes about due to over-excitation of the eyelid muscles. It is usually harmless although it can be rather annoying!
It may be triggered by a variety (or even a combination) of these factors: eye irritation, caffeine, alcohol, dehydration, high potassium diet, stress, and fatigue.
If you are still experiencing eyelid twitching, you may address it in the following ways:
- Use lubricating eye drops which may be bought from over the counter (for example Refresh Plus) at least 4 times a day to moisturise your eyes. Often, simply curing dry eyes will resolve eyelid twitching.
- Keep eyelids clean and oil-free by using lid wipes or lid scrubs with warm compress twice daily. Hyperactive oil glands at the eyelids triggers eyelid irritation and twitching.
- Avoid or cut down consumption of caffeine and alcohol for now.
- Rehydrate by taking lots of healthy fluids.
- Keep away from potassium high foods such as bananas or papayas. Interestingly, many of my patients with blepharospasm were eating 2-3 bananas a day, and their eyelid twitching successfully resolved after cutting down to just 1 banana a week.
- Get good rest or sleep and keep a well-balanced lifestyle to keep stress hormones at bay.
If your twitching persists for more than 3 months, you may want to consider a simple procedure to abate it. I treat patients who have persistent blepharospasm with Botox injections (yes, the same Botox that is used by Aesthetic Doctors, except that I use it in medically-required conditions only).
Botox treatment is painless and involves a single injection to the pre-anaesthetized eyelid. It takes less than a minute to inject and it’s effects lasts up to 3-6 months. Because the dose of Botox I use is so small, it will not change your appearance in any way.
Usually, patients with benign blepharospasm like yourself, only require 1 treatment and the eyelid twitching never returns. Some patients with more severe twitching may require continuing treatment every 3-6 months as maintenance.
I hope that this was helpful to you!
Dr Claudine Pang
MBBS, MRCSEd, FRCSEd, FAMS (Ophth)
Eyelid twitching is actually fairly common, and almost always benign (ie, harmless).
Possible causes include:
3. Eyelid strain
Eyelid twitching often goes away by itself without any treatment at all.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a while to resolve completely – as you’ve noted, your eyelid twitching has gone on for more than a month.
Rarely, there are some other underlying causes of persistent eyelid twitching that require a medical doctor’s review. These are often accompanied by other types of symptoms, such as spasms or involuntary movements in other parts of your body.
I wouldn’t be overly worried about your eyelid twitching if I were in your shoes, from the limited amount of information that you’ve provided (single eyelid twitching). However, if it’s a cause of concern for you, do visit a doctor to have him rule out any other possible causes.
If the twitching also begins to affect other parts of your face, or your eyelid starts to droop, do seek formal medical advise sooner as well.
In the mean time, you could try to remove potential causes, such as reducing caffeine/alcohol and fatigue (get more rest now that your exams are done!) You can also try applying a warm towel to your eyelid when the eyelid twitching starts.
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