Ask The GP: Why does my eye keep twitching?

Botox was first developed as a cure for eye twitching.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

10.41 24 Feb 2024

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Ask The GP: Why does my eye ke...

Ask The GP: Why does my eye keep twitching?

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

10.41 24 Feb 2024

Share this article

An eye twitch is a normal sign of strain or tiredness but should be checked if it persists over time.

That is according to Dr Nina Byrnes who answered your burning questions on this week’s ‘Ask The GP’ segment on Lunchtime Live.

One listener shared they have a constant twitch in their eye and wondered whether it required medical intervention.


“Twitching in the eyes is called blepharospasm which is a spasming of the muscle,” she said.

“It can happen for no particular reason, sometimes if you’re a bit tired or if your eyes are strained.

“In most cases, there is no serious underlying cause but it can be annoying.

“If it’s happening repetitively, or it’s lasting a very long time and it’s really not going away, you should see someone about it.”

Dr Byrnes said there is a surprising treatment available for eye twitching.

“Botox injections were first used for this and then they noticed it helped reduce wrinkles – it relaxes the muscle,” she said.


Another listener said she has difficulties sleeping from when she begins ovulating to when her period starts.

Dr Byrnes said this is unusual as progesterone, a hormone that can help with sleep, is typically at a high level during ovulation.

“Women often sleep better when progesterone levels are good,” she said.

“But this person mentioned they have endometriosis and classically after ovulation where progesterone goes up - can be a trigger time for endometriotic pain which may be why they’re not sleeping.

“They also didn’t mention their age but it could be perimenopause contributing to some of those symptoms of poor sleep.”

Sleep advice

Dr Byrnes offered some general sleep advice to help.

“Avoiding caffeine after 3pm in the afternoon is often overlooked,” she said.

“A cup of tea after dinner too is not going to help with a night’s sleep.

“Having the bedroom room cool, dark, quiet and restful can help – some people find magnesium helps too.”

Nervous twitch

One listener expressed concern over their three-year-old child who has a nervous shoulder twitch when anxious.

“The majority of children do grow out of it,” said Dr Byrnes.

“Of course, ticks can be associated with things like autism and other neurodevelopment disorders – so that’s why parents panic.

“I would say to look at your child overall and ask yourself if they are developing normally.”

Dr Byrnes said to speak to a doctor if the problem persists as the child gets older.

You can listen back here:

Main image: Dr Nina Byrnes. Image: Newstalk

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Ask The Gp Dr Nina Byrnes Eye Twitch Lunchtime Live Medical Advice Nervous Twitch Ovulation Sleep Advice Sleeping

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