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At some point in our lives, we will likely experience eyebrow twitching. This occurs when the eyebrow muscle contracts on its own, which can become frustrating, especially when you are unsure what is causing it.
While annoying, most cases of eyebrow twitching are not serious, and it is often a sign of something being off balance, such as a deficiency or lack of sleep. Continue reading to see why your eyebrow might keep twitching, and what you can do.
Table of Contents
- What Is Eyebrow Twitching?
- What Causes Eyebrow Twitching?
- How To Stop Eyebrow Twitching?
- When To See a Doctor?
- Key Takeaways
What Is Eyebrow Twitching?
Also known as myokymia, an eyebrow twitch is when the eyebrow muscle contracts involuntarily. This can cause the skin around the eyebrow to move on its own, sometimes for several seconds, whereas in other cases, it may last for multiple hours. It’s most often harmless and painless, but it can still be disruptive and annoying.
What Causes Eyebrow Twitching?
There are many causes of eyebrow twitching, with most of them common, everyday causes. They may affect the right or left eyebrow, and in some cases, they may cause the eyebrow to twitch on and off all day.
Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep each night may be the cause behind a twitching eyebrow. It is recommended for adults to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, if you do not make this mark, you may feel fatigued, which increases the likelihood of eyebrow twitching because the muscles holding your eyelids open are weakened with exhaustion.
If you are getting enough sleep each night but are still experiencing eyebrow twitching, it might be due to another cause.
Too Much Caffeine
A common association with too much caffeine is someone who moves around a lot, which can relate to eyebrow twitching in addition to muscle twitching in other muscles of the body.
For those who suspect that caffeine is the cause behind eyebrow twitching, the problem is often remedied by cutting back on how much caffeine they consume.
However, there is such a thing as caffeine withdrawal, which can occur if you try to limit your caffeine intake too quickly after being dependent on large amounts. If you want to lower how much caffeine you drink in a day, try to reduce it gradually to help your body get used to it.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for normal nerve and muscle functions. Because of this role, being deficient in magnesium may cause muscle spasms such as eyebrow twitching.
Some other symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
- loss of appetite
- personality changes
If you think you are deficient in magnesium, some foods to consider adding to your diet that are high in magnesium include:
- cashews, almonds, and peanuts
- soy milk
- kidney and black beans
Stress can impact the body in many ways, one of which is eyebrow twitching. By completing relaxation techniques and working to remove stressful situations from your life, your health will improve, and you may stop experiencing twitching eyebrows.
When you have allergies, your body releases histamine in response to an allergen. This commonly causes itchy eyes, and when you go to rub your eyes, this may cause them to twitch.
Certain medications may be the cause behind your twitching eyebrow.
For example, diuretics can cause magnesium deficiency, which may then cause eyebrow twitching.
Stimulants and antipsychotics are other medications that may cause tremors and tics, which can manifest as eyebrow twitching.
Although less common, there are some disorders that may cause eyebrow twitching, such as:
- Bell’s palsy
- hemifacial spasm
- Tourette syndrome
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
If you have addressed the above everyday causes of eyebrow twitching but have not found relief, you can discuss the potential of a disorder being the cause behind the muscle spasms with your doctor.
How to Stop Eyebrow Twitching?
In most cases, eyebrow twitching will stop in a few days or weeks without treatment. Typically, it will resolve on its own whenever you address whatever is causing the eyebrow twitch.
For example, if your eyebrow is twitching because you are not getting enough sleep, focusing on your sleep and ensuring you are well-rested will help.
Some other actions that may help relieve eyebrow twitching include:
- drinking less caffeine
- applying a warm compress to your eyes when your eyebrow is twitching
- use over-the-counter eye drops or artificial tears.
If these remedies have not helped your eyebrow twitching, your doctor may need to intervene. Depending on the cause of the eyebrow twitching, they may need to prescribe antibiotics or perform surgery, among a range of other potential treatments.
When to See a Doctor?
Most cases of eyebrow twitching do not require medical attention, as they are not that serious.
However, chronic eyebrow spasms may indicate a nervous system or brain disorder, especially if they are accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- drooping upper eyelid
- a red or swollen eye
- unusual discharge from the eye
- twitching that continues for several weeks
- eyelid completely closes during twitches
- twitching that affects other parts of the face
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is recommended to visit a doctor.
Online doctors provide a quick and convenient way to meet with a medical professional from the comfort of your home. With DrHouse, you can meet with a doctor in just 15 minutes to discuss your twitching eyebrow and any other symptoms you may be experiencing.
A twitching eyebrow occurs when the muscle that makes up the eyebrow spasms, causing the skin around your eyebrow to move on its own. While it can be annoying, it is rarely due to anything serious. In fact, it will typically go away once you address what is causing it.
Some potential causes of eyebrow twitching include lack of sleep, too much caffeine, magnesium deficiency, stress, allergies, or medication. By addressing these areas, many people are able to stop their eyebrows from twitching.
An online doctor is a great resource to determine what might be causing your eyebrow twitching and, if it is something more serious, to discuss treatment.
- Jafer Chardoub AA, Patel BC. Eyelid Myokymia. [Updated 2022 May 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560595/
- How Much Sleep Do I Need? (2017). https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
- Warner MJ, Hutchison J, Varacallo M. Bell Palsy. [Updated 2022 May 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482290/
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Magnesium. (2022). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
- Banik, R., & Miller, N. R. (2004). Chronic myokymia limited to the eyelid is a benign condition. Journal of neuro-ophthalmology : the official journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, 24(4), 290–292. https://doi.org/10.1097/00041327-200412000-00003
- Kostov, K., & Halacheva, L. (2018). Role of Magnesium Deficiency in Promoting Atherosclerosis, Endothelial Dysfunction, and Arterial Stiffening as Risk Factors for Hypertension. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, 19(6), 1724. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061724
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