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What causes eye twitching?

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replied November 10th, 2008
Muscular and Nerve Disorders Answer A4841
Anyone can have an eye twitch from time to time in the absence of an identifiable cause, such as a disease or condition. Most often, eyelid spasms are associated with or prolonged by:
1. Alcohol
2. Caffeine
3. Fatigue
4. Irritation of the eye surface or inner eyelids
5. Lack of sleep
6. Physical exertion
7. Smoking
8. Stress

Chronic, uncontrollable eyelid movement affecting both eyes is known as benign essential blepharospasm. Although its exact cause is unknown, the following conditions often precede or accompany benign essential blepharospasm:
1. Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid)
2. Dry eyes
3. Light sensitivity
4. Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Very rarely, eye twitch may be a sign of certain brain and nerve disorders. When it is, it's almost always accompanied by other signs and symptoms. Brain and nerve disorders that can cause eye twitch include:
1. Bell's palsy
2. Benign essential blepharospasm
3. Dystonia
4. Parkinsonism: What causes it?
5. Side effects of drugs, particularly medications used to treat epilepsy and psychosis
6. Spasmodic torticollis (a separate type of dystonia sometimes accompanied by blepharospasm)
7. Tourette syndrome

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