How to Stop Eye Twitching

Treatment for minor to severe eye twitching

Eye twitching—uncontrollable eyelid spasms—usually clears up on its own. Commonly caused by stress, allergies, or a lack of sleep, eye twitching (myokymia) typically occurs in one eye only. It might last for a minute, days, or weeks.

At-home treatments to stop eye twitching include getting enough rest, cutting down on caffeine, and using a warm compress. Taking a break from screens, lowering your stress, and massaging your eyelid can also help to stop eye twitching.

If home remedies for eye twitching fail to bring relief, see an ophthalmologist. Eye twitching can be due to a more serious health condition that requires treatment. Prescription medications, botox injections, and, in some cases, surgery may be needed to stop eye twitching.

This article discusses how to stop eye twitching plus when you should get medical attention.

how to stop an eye twitch
Illustration by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell

At-Home Treatments for Eye Twitching

Minor eye twitches can often be treated at home. If you are dealing with eye twitching, a combination of the following may help.

Reduce Stress

Stress is a common cause of eye twitching. Look for ways to reduce stress in your daily life. Learning stress management techniques can help you better cope with stress.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends doing the following to lower your daily stress level:

  • Avoid watching or reading news stories
  • Connect with people whose company you enjoy
  • Get regular exercise
  • Make time to unwind and engage in activities you enjoy
  • Practice meditation or yoga
  • Take deep breaths 

Cut Back on Caffeine

Consuming too much caffeine can cause eye twitching, so naturally, cutting back on caffeine can help to stop it. Caffeine is found in chocolate, coffee, cola, energy drinks, tea, and some over-the-counter medicines.

Most people can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day—about two strong cups of coffee. In addition to eye twitching, other side effects of too much caffeine include anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, a fast heart rate, and dependence.

If your current caffeine intake is high, cut back slowly to minimize withdrawal symptoms. These include headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, and trouble concentrating. 

Get Plenty of Sleep

Insufficient sleep is another common cause of eye twitching. If you aren't getting enough shuteye, improving the quantity and quality of your sleep can help ease a twitching eye.

Adults should get at least seven hours of sleep a night. The CDC recommends the following tips for better sleep hygiene:

  • Be consistent with going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, including on the weekends.
  • Don't eat large meals or drink alcohol before bed.
  • Keep the bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Move screens and electronic devices out of the bedroom.

If these changes do not improve your sleep quality, talk to your healthcare provider. A sleep study can help to determine if you have a sleep disorder.

Take Screen Breaks

Digital eye strain caused by spending too much screen time can cause eye twitching. Known as computer vision syndrome, research suggests up to 90% of adults who regularly use devices experience digital eye strain.

Other signs of computer vision syndrome include:

To prevent digital eyestrain, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends following the 20-20-20 rule. Take a screen break every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can help your eyes relax.

Apply a Warm Compresses

Eye twitches are tiny muscle contractions or spasms. Applying a warm compress can sometimes calm the twitch.

Wet a clean washcloth with warm water, squeeze out the excess, and hold it to your eye for five to 10 minutes. Repeat as needed throughout the day.

Use Eye Drops

Tiredness, digital eye strain, and allergies can all lead to dry eyes, which contribute to eye twitching. Over-the-counter eye drops can help to soothe dry eyes.

For dry eyes related to eye strain or fatigue, try saline eye drops. These are commonly labeled as lubricating, moisturizing, or natural tears.

Eye twitching caused by ocular allergies (allergic conjunctivitis) may benefit from using antihistamine eye drops. These are often labeled as for allergies or eye itch relief.

Treatment for Severe Eye Twitches

If home remedies for eye twitching fail to bring relief, medical treatment may be needed. Persistent eye twitching can be treated with prescription medications, botox injections, and, in severe cases, surgery.


Prescription medications can help to relax the muscles around the eye to relieve eye twitching. Depending on the underlying cause of the eyelid spasms, your doctor may prescribe anxiety medications, muscle relaxers, sedatives, or, surprisingly, stimulants.

Research shows medications that affect dopamine levels are often helpful for treating eyelid spasms. These include the ADHD medication methylphenidate and benzodiazepines such as Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and Ativan (lorazepam).


Botox injections are often used to relieve eye twitching. The treatment involves injecting a tiny amount of botulinum toxin into five to eight sites around each eye.

Botox works to relieve eye twitching by inhibiting the muscle's ability to release acetylcholine. This stops muscle contractions.


When eyelid twitching is due to certain medical conditions, surgery may be needed to relieve the twitch.

Surgical options depend on the cause of the twitching and may include the following:

  • Myectomy: A surgical procedure to remove one or more eyelid protractor muscles is used to treat eye twitching due to blepharospasm.
  • Microvascular decompression: A surgical procedure to relieve compression of the facial nerve at its root exit zone is used to treat eye twitching due to hemifacial spasms.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Eye twitching that persists should be seen by an ophthalmologist. Eye twitching may be caused by a medical condition such as essential blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm.

See your eye doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Eyelid twitching for more than a few weeks
  • Severe eye twitching
  • The twitch makes your eyes close all the way
  • Other muscles in your face begin twitching

A Word From Verywell

Most eyelid twitches are harmless and tend to go away on their own. Rarely, severe eyelid twitching may signal a more severe disorder. It is always best to seek the advice of an eye doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I do if my eye is twitching for weeks?

    If your eye has been twitching for multiple weeks, it's time to contact your healthcare provider. This is especially important if the twitching:

    • Makes your eye close
    • Affects other areas of your face
    • Makes your upper eyelid droop
    • Accompanies a discharge, redness, and swelling
  • Is eye twitching related to anxiety?

    It is possible for eye twitching to be related to anxiety. Most people experience a twitch in their eyes or legs, but it can happen anywhere on the body and often resolves itself in a day or two. Following a few specific steps may help ease the eyelid twitch.

    • Get enough sleep. Most people need seven to nine hours of rest every night.
    • Dedicate at least a small portion of your day to relaxing.
    • Engage in regular exercise.
    • Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine.
    • If you suspect the medication you take is related to the eye twitch, ask your healthcare provider.
14 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Eyelid twitch.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coping with stress.

  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Caffeine.

  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Eye twitching.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much sleep do I need?

  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tips for better sleep.

  8. Coles‐Brennan C, Sulley A, Young G. Management of digital eye strainClinical and Experimental Optometry. 2018;102(1):18-29. doi:10.1111/cxo.12798

  9. Sheppard AL, Wolffsohn JS. Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and ameliorationBMJ Open Ophthalmology. 2018;3(1). doi:10.1136/bmjophth-2018-000146

  10. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Protect your eyes from too much screen time.

  11. American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is an eyelid spasm or twitching eyelid?

  12. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Eye (ocular) allergy.

  13. Gervasio KA, Moster ML. Managing eyelid and facial spasms. Rev Opthal. 2020;3:66-70.

  14. National Health Service (NHS). Twitching Eyes and Muscles.

By Troy Bedinghaus, OD
Troy L. Bedinghaus, OD, board-certified optometric physician, owns Lakewood Family Eye Care in Florida. He is an active member of the American Optometric Association.