Although MS can cause an eye twitch, so can many other conditions. If an eye twitch is persistent, it is advisable to contact a doctor.
However, an eye twitch alone does not usually mean that a person has MS. In fact, twitches in the eyelids are
MS causes progressive damage to myelin, the substance that coats neurons. This damage affects how neurons work, causing symptoms such as pain, tingling, and involuntary movements, including twitches in the eyes and face.
This article explores the causes and symptoms of an MS-related eye twitch and explains how to distinguish it from eye twitches with other causes.
Many different factors — including health conditions, certain foods, and lifestyle and habit changes — may trigger twitches.
Sometimes, an eye twitch appears for no reason at all. Often, it is possible for a person to work out the cause of the eye twitch by linking the time that it first appeared with concurrent changes to their diet or everyday routine.
If a person cannot determine the cause, and the eye twitch does not go away, they should seek consultation with a doctor.
Some potential causes of an eye twitch include:
Stress or fatigue
Other factors, such as staring at a computer screen for long periods or drinking lots of caffeine to stay awake, may further intensify symptoms.
These twitches may last for the duration of the stressful period, or they may appear suddenly, disappear, then come back again.
People undergoing major life changes, especially those that affect other aspects of health or well-being, may be more vulnerable to eyelid twitches.
For example, people enrolled in
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it increases activity in the brain and central nervous system. In some people, this may trigger an eyelid twitch.
Caffeine is a more likely culprit when a person drinks this stimulant in higher quantities than usual, on an empty stomach, or at a different time of day than they typically do.
However, some people suddenly notice a caffeine-related twitch even without changing their caffeine consumption habits.
Reducing or eliminating caffeine may help. However, some people use caffeine to manage stress or exhaustion. Without also addressing these factors, cutting back on caffeine may not be enough.
Dry, irritated eyes
Some people experience eyelid spasms when their eyes become dry or irritated.
These symptoms may happen after spending a long time in the sun or after extended periods of focusing the eyes on a computer screen. They are more likely to affect people with a history of dry eye.
Resting the eyes, applying eye drops, and, in some cases, performing eye exercises to reduce strain may be beneficial.
Damage to facial nerves
Sometimes, an abnormality in the nerve that connects the facial muscles can cause a muscle spasm that affects the eye on one side of the face.
This might happen after surgery, following a serious infection, or as a result of an injury, such as a fall or deep cut.
In most cases, a person will have other symptoms, such as spasms elsewhere on the face or a recent history of injury or infection.
Rarely, medication may trigger eyelid twitches. Some drugs that may cause spasms
A person who notices a new twitch can consider whether they:
- are taking a new medication
- are taking their medication in different circumstances
- have recently increased or lowered the dosage of a drug.
Problems with the brain can affect the signal that it sends to the muscles and nerves, which can cause a variety of twitches and spasms.
It is impossible to diagnose neurological diseases based on symptoms alone, so it is important to see a doctor if an eye twitch does not go away, causes the face to twitch, or forces the eye to close all the way.
MS damages the myelin that coats neurons, making it more difficult for them to communicate with one another. This impairment may cause weakness or unusual sensations, as well as uncontrolled movements.
The eye twitches that MS can cause
The eyelid twitches of MS may even disappear before returning or manifesting as another twitch or involuntary movement.
Some warning signs that an eye twitch might be due to MS or another serious condition include:
- The twitch lasts for a long time.
- The twitch does not get better with rest, a reduction in caffeine, or other lifestyle adjustments.
- The person has other spasms in the face.
- The twitch fully closes the eye.
A person should also look for other symptoms of MS, which may
- muscle weakness
- muscle tingling or numbness
- twitches elsewhere in the body
- unexplained chronic pain
- other eye issues, such as blurred vision or sudden color blindness
- problems with coordination or balance
Although spasms often go away on their own, this is not always the case, even when MS is not the culprit.
Depending on the cause of the twitch or how it appears, a doctor may recommend further testing to rule out nerve damage or other serious neurological issues.
Multiple sclerosis is a
The right treatment depends on a person’s symptoms and overall health, but it may include physical therapy, exercise, lifestyle changes, and medication to slow the disease.
Having a twitch can be concerning, especially when it is constant or interferes with work or regular daily activity.
However, there are many causes of eye twitches, and MS is one of the less common causes.
Most twitches are harmless and go away on their own, even without treatment.
A person should see a doctor if their eye twitch does not go away within a few days or makes working or other daily tasks difficult.