We all experience involuntary twitching of our eyelids from time to time. Usually it is due to minor exposure to allergens and other airborn debris. Some dry eye patients are more prone to these irritants because we lack the tear volume to quickly blink them away. The eyelid motion may be a subtle short spasm or a complete tight closure of the lids. If there is pain, it is usually due to debris caught between the eye and the eyelid, commonly under the upper eyelid where it is difficult to dislodge. If there is itching you are most likely dealing with an allergy. If there is no pain and the lids appear to want to close for no apparent reason, you may have a different form of spasm that requires an evaluation.
Moist compresses and flushing the eye with artificial tears is a good first attempt to stop the spasm. If itching is present, use cold water or artificial tears from the refrigerator, or medicated tear solutions that are available over the counter or by prescription if something stronger is needed. Preventive therapy would be to stay well hydrated and use omega three products in moderate doses.
If the eyelid spasms become more frequent or severe and are not responding to these basic therapy measures, a medical work up to rule out a neurological cause is warranted. The good news is that even these more severe lid muscle spasm can be controlled with medication such as Botox. The Eye Associates has a board certified dermatologist that can provide such treatments.
It is always hard to describe these problems, but some of my more technically savvy patients have recorded these episodes with their mobile phone cameras. This can help us a lot in making the correct diagnosis. But whether you have a video or not, do not hesitate to come in for us to evaluate any of your eye issues.