What is Ocular Myokymia?

  • eye stress

Ocular myokymia is the formal name for eyelid spasms or twitching. This is a very common condition that will often arise and pass quickly, though it can last for much longer, sometimes weeks or even months. Though it can be troubling to experience, ocular myokymia is usually a benign condition and is rarely indicative of a serious condition. Indeed, most people will have to deal with uncontrollable eyelid spasms at some point in their lives.

These are a few common causes of ocular myokymia:

Eye Strain

This is a very common cause of eyelid spasms, particularly amongst people who spend a great deal of time working with computers, tablets, and smartphones. Another cause of eye strain is an incorrect prescription for corrective lenses, which may cause the eye to need to work harder.


One of the myriad of ways the body may respond to stress is ocular myokymia. Some people experience eyelid spasms during times of heightened emotions. Removing or reducing the source of the stress can often reduce or eliminate the ocular myokymia.

Caffeine and Alcohol

There is evidence that increased levels of alcohol and/or caffeine can cause eyelid spasms. There are many means that these substances, especially caffeine, can enter our diets without our noticing. For example. many over the counter (OTC) pain and cold medications contain caffeine or alcohol.


Lack of restful sleep can cause eyelid twitching as well. Not only can lack of sleep cause ocular myokymia in and of itself, but lethargy and feeling tired are common reasons for the consumption of caffeine, which can cause eyelid spasms. Getting enough rest can not only help with ocular myokymia, but is also a key in overall health.

Sudden onset ocular myokymia is rarely a cause for concern. If, however, an episode is unrelenting or you find it to be extremely annoying, you should contact the Palm Beach Eye Center and schedule a comprehensive eye exam.