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Twitching eyes and muscles

Twitches are common and very rarely a sign of anything serious. They often go away on their own, but see a GP if a twitch lasts more than 2 weeks.

Most people get twitches from time to time.

They're often linked to:

Twitches can affect any part of the body. Twitches in the eyes or legs are particularly common.

You may also have tingling or cramps (spasms) in the same area.

A twitch may come and go, but will normally stop in a few days or weeks.

There’s not usually any treatment for it.

But there are some things you can do to help.

Do

  • get plenty of rest

  • try to find ways to relax

  • stretch and massage any muscles affected by cramps

  • try not to worry about it – a twitch is usually harmless and worrying can make it worse

Don't

  • do not drink lots of caffeine, such as tea and coffee

  • do not drink lots of alcohol

  • do not stop taking a prescribed medicine without getting medical advice, even if you think it could be causing your twitch

If your twitch does not go away, your GP may:

  • check for causes like stress or a medicine you're taking
  • ask you to come back if the twitch has not stopped in a few weeks
  • refer you to a specialist called a neurologist for tests to look for conditions that can cause a twitch
Conditions that can cause a twitch

Most twitches are not caused by a medical condition.

Some possible causes of a twitch that does not go away or happens with other symptoms include:

  • benign fasciculation syndrome (long-lasting twitches and cramps caused by overactive nerves)
  • dystonia (a group of uncommon conditions that cause muscle spasms)
  • motor neurone disease (an uncommon condition that causes weakness and gets worse over time)