Many things can cause eyebrow twitching, including common issues like stress, lack of sleep, and too much caffeine. Sometimes, an eye twitch can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Twitching happens when the eyebrow muscle contracts involuntarily. It often occurs with spasms in other facial muscles around your eye and eyelid.
Eyebrow twitching can be aggravating, but it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. Read on to learn more about what causes eyebrow twitching, how to stop it, and when to see a doctor.
12 Potential Causes of Eyebrow Twitching
The cause of eyebrow twitching can be as simple as not getting enough sleep. However, chronic eyebrow spasms can occur due to health conditions or nerve disorders.
Here are 12 possible reasons why your eyebrows are twitching.
1. Too Much Caffeine
Excessive caffeine consumption can cause twitching of the facial muscles, especially around your eyes. You might experience eyebrow spasms if you drink caffeinated beverages, such as:
- Caffeinated tea
- Energy drinks
If you suspect caffeine is the cause of your eyebrow twitching, reducing your intake may be enough to make it stop.
2. Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can all cause twitching of the eyebrows. Too much of them can cause various health complications, including muscle spasms.
Limiting alcohol intake, quitting tobacco, and avoiding recreational drugs may alleviate the twitching.
Stress can cause your eyes and eyebrows to twitch.
Stress can come from work burnout or problems at home. If your eyebrows are twitching, consider whether you’re under much pressure.
Managing stress with exercise and relaxation techniques like meditation can help reduce muscle twitching.
Your eye muscles are more likely to twitch when you’re tired. To alleviate this, make sure to get plenty of sleep. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours a night.
5. Nutritional Deficiencies
Essential nutrients like potassium and magnesium are significant in nerve and muscle functions. A magnesium deficiency or low intake of potassium can lead to eyebrow spasms.
Good food sources of magnesium and potassium include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Dark, leafy greens
Allergies trigger the release of histamine, which can cause eye irritation. An allergic reaction can cause various eye symptoms, including:
- Eyelid swelling
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
Rubbing irritated eyes can cause twitching in the surrounding muscles and eyebrows. Allergy medications, such as antihistamines, may help relieve symptoms.
Dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movement and muscle spasms. It can affect various body parts, including the eyes and eyebrows.
Primary dystonia occurs on its own. Secondary dystonia occurs due to an underlying condition, such as:
- Brain injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Brain inflammation
- Alcoholic ketoacidosis
- Brain aneurysm
8. Hemifacial Spasm
Hemifacial spasms are involuntary facial spasms caused by irritation of the facial nerve. This lifelong neuromuscular disorder usually affects only one side of the face. Hemifacial spasm is a rare condition that affects about 1 in 10,000 people.9
Botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections may help reduce spasms by relaxing the facial muscles.
Benign essential blepharospasm is a type of dystonia that causes abnormal muscle contractions of the eyelid. This condition can cause involuntary blinking, winking, and squinting.
More than half of people with benign essential blepharospasm have symptoms spread beyond their eyes to other facial muscles.8
10. Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s palsy causes temporary weakness or paralysis of your facial muscles. Eyebrow twitching can be a side effect.
Other possible symptoms of Bell’s palsy include:
- Inability to close or open the eyes
- Drooping of one side of the face
- Difficulty making or controlling facial expressions
Bell’s palsy usually goes away on its own. However, medications or eye drops may help relieve symptoms.
11. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis is when immune cells attack your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). It can lead to muscle twitching.
Other symptoms of MS include:
- Difficulty walking
- Speech disorders
- Memory and concentration issues
MS has no cure, but medications and therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the disease's progression.
12. Tourette Syndrome
This neurological disorder causes involuntary movement, which can include eye twitching. Tourette syndrome may also cause someone to make unintentional noises.
Tourette syndrome may not require treatment, but medications and therapy can reduce severe symptoms.
When to See a Doctor
Eyebrow muscle twitches should subside in a few days to a few weeks. Call your doctor if the twitching persists for longer or worsens over time.
Also, call your doctor if your eyebrow twitching occurs with other symptoms, such as:
- Drooping of the eyelid or facial muscles
- Twitching that affects other parts of the face or body
- Swollen, red, or irritated eyes
- Twitching that causes the eyelid to close completely
Your doctor will be able to help you identify the cause of your eyebrow twitch and find the proper treatment to stop it.
How to Stop Eyebrow Twitching
The best way to stop or prevent eyebrow twitching depends on the underlying cause—most of the time, the twitching results from extreme fatigue, stress, or too much caffeine.
Depending on the cause, you can try one or more of the following:
- Reducing caffeine intake
- Avoiding alcohol, recreational drugs, and tobacco
- Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep
- Using eye drops (artificial tears)
- Eating more magnesium and potassium
- Taking allergy medication
Call your doctor if home remedies aren’t effective at reducing eyebrow twitching.
Eyebrow twitching usually isn’t severe and typically goes away on its own. Lifestyle changes like reducing caffeine consumption may help prevent eyebrow twitches from returning.
Eye twitching that persists despite home remedies may be due to a health condition that needs treatment. Schedule a doctor’s appointment for twitching that doesn’t resolve within a few weeks.
Your eyebrow can twitch for many reasons. Most of the time, eyebrow twitching is caused by tiredness, stress, or too much caffeine.
Eyebrow twitching is not always a serious concern. If your eyebrow twitching doesn’t stop over time, or if it worsens, contact your doctor.
A healthcare professional will be able to assess your condition and help you find the root cause of your eyebrow twitching.
In this article