Eyebrow Twitching: Causes and Remedies

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Eyebrow Twitching
Credit: iStock.com/Camrocker

Eyebrow twitching is a bothersome phenomenon that happens to everyone from time to time. However, the causes of eyebrow twitching can be difficult to pinpoint.  

Fasciculation, as it is known medically, can be caused by health conditions ranging from fatigue and dehydration to infections, anemia, muscular dystrophy, kidney failure, and brain tumors.

Most sufferers experience either left eyebrow twitching or right eyebrow twitching due to minor, involuntary muscle contractions in the region.

In this article, we will examine all factors, as well as some techniques that may come in handy to stop the discomfort. A little rest and hydration may be all you need to end the annoying muscle twitches.


Eyebrow Twitching Causes

Why is my eyebrow twitching? Well, there is a good chance that either the muscles surrounding your eyebrow are contracting involuntarily or a muscle group served by a single motor nerve fiber is twitching uncontrollably. If this happens very often, it may be necessary to identify an underlying cause. Eyebrow and eye twitching can be caused by the following:

1. Fatigue

Fatigue is just one symptom of the 24 hour flu bug

 

Fatigue can trigger involuntary eyebrow twitching. Essentially, this is because the muscles in and around your eye area are overworked. Over usage of those muscles can lead to twitching and convulsing of the tissues. No permanent damage will occur, and it can be easily fixed with some rest. Fatigue is probably the most common cause of eyebrow twitching.

2. Stress

financial stress

Stress can affect many of your body’s systems and muscles, and eyebrow twitching is a common result. While there is no precise medical explanation for it, experts believe that stress causes the eyebrows to twitch much in the same way fatigue does and is thus treated the same way: rest and relaxation.

3. Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance

dehydration

Dehydration can also cause eyebrow twitching. This can result from not drinking enough fluids each day or from not properly rehydrating after losing fluids during an activity like strenuous exercise. The dehydration causes an electrolyte imbalance, which can, in turn, over excite the muscles. This can cause spasms in your legs, arms, back, even your eyebrows.

4. Medical Conditions

Best Hospital Treatment

A number of medical conditions can lead to eyebrow twitching. Some are relatively harmless, while others might be fairly serious medical diseases or disorders with eyebrow twitching as an indicator.

Allergies are a less serious cause of eyebrow twitching. If your allergens produce watery eyes that are subjected to constant rubbing, it can tire the muscles in and around the eyebrow area, causing twitching.

Several major medical conditions present eyebrow twitching as a symptom.  In many cases, eyebrow twitching is the result of a hormonal imbalance: the body creates too much of a hormone or chemical or too little. Conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, for example, create too much cortisol, which can cause the body to have fatigue and muscle issues. Other medical conditions that can lead to eyebrow twitching include:

  • Influenza
  • Sinusitis
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Excessive diarrhea and vomiting
  • Orofacial dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the mouth and face)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Muscular dystrophy (progressive loss of muscle mass)
  • Side effects of antipsychotics
  • Kidney failure
  • Lupus
  • Hypothyroidism

5. Eye Strain or Dry Eyes

Itchy eyes

Eye strain and dry eyes cause eyebrow twitching similarly to fatigue, but for different reasons. Eye strain refers to intense use of your eyes, causing them to be sore and tired. Overuse of the eye can often cause the muscles around the organ to overreact and twitch.

Dry eyes occur when tear production is interrupted. This could be due to an environmental factor like a dry room or a dry, dusty area outdoors. Dryness could also be due to a medical condition such as blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids). It can occur from wearing improper contacts or keeping them in too long. These types of situations can cause the eyes to over strain themselves and fatigue, leading to eyebrow twitching.

6. Nutritional Deficiency

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The eyebrow twitching may be the result of a nutritional deficiency, ie the shortage of an essential vitamin or mineral in your bloodstream. Conversely, you may have too much of a mineral, vitamin, or stimulant circulating your system.

A lack of vitamin D, for example, can produce muscle spasms in the hands, feet, and eye region. An imbalance or absence of minerals like magnesium and potassium can disrupt the ion balance in the muscles of your body, causing them to twitch. This includes muscles in the arms, legs, and face.

Too much caffeine can also trigger an adverse reaction in your body, causing muscle spasms and twitches. Caffeine is a stimulant, and excess amounts can overexcite your muscles, prompting small jerks or twitches.

How to Stop Eyebrow Twitching

If your eyebrow keeps twitching, it may make for annoying and slightly awkward social interactions. So, you will likely want to know how to stop eyebrow twitching. There is no direct treatment for these types of muscle spasms. However, most of cases of eyebrow twitching can be managed by treating the underlying cause.

The easiest and quickest solution for the majority of eyebrow twitching causes is rest. If you are experiencing fatigue, stress, or eye strain, take a break from your computer, television, or book. If your entire body is tired, including your eyes, consider having a nap or heading to bed early. Keeping yourself hydrated with plenty of water can also keep problems like dehydration and dry eyes at bay.

Instances of nutritional imbalance and deficiency can be less straightforward. It may be necessary to consult a doctor or registered dietitian to determine what you are deficient in and what is causing that deficiency. A vitamin D deficiency may just be a simple case of not getting enough sunlight and can be easily remedied by going outside more or taking supplements.

If a health condition such as diabetes or lupus is causing your eyebrow twitching or the nutritional and chemical imbalance that is causing your eyebrow twitching, treating the medical issue may relieve you of the eyebrow twitches. Depending on what the condition is, it might take a long time to resolve the involuntary spasms.

If an eyebrow twitch continues for a long period of time, it is best to see a medical professional. The doctor can give you an idea what is causing your twitches and recommend the best course of action for eliminating them as well as doing what’s best for your health.


Eyebrow Twitching Is Annoying but Often Harmless

While some serious medical issues like Parkinson’s disease and orofacial dyskinesia are connected to eyebrow twitching, for most people, it is little more than a biological nuisance. More often than not, all you need is time to allow your eyes and the general area to relax and rest. Some hydration and a well-balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables will more than likely take care of the uncontrollable muscle contractions.

If you suspect a more severe health condition is at fault, seek the advice of a medical professional, who will help you identify and treat the underlying cause.

Related: Eye Twitching: Causes and Natural Treatments


Sources
“Muscle twitching,” University of Maryland Medical Center; http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/muscle-twitching, last accessed September 14, 2017.
“Dry eye syndrome,” NHS Choices; http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Dry-eye-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx, last accessed September 14, 2017.
“Why Is My Eyebrow Twitching And How To Stop Involuntary Twitching,” Best Remedy Ideas, http://bestremedyideas.com/why-is-my-eyebrow-twitching-and-how-to-stop-involuntary-twitching, last accessed September 14, 2017.
“Right and Left Eyebrow Twitching – Causes, Superstition and Meanings,” Etopical, http://www.etopical.com/eyebrows/eyebrow-twitching/eyebrow-twitching-why-left-right-superstition-cause-stop/, last accessed September 14, 2017.
Martinac, P., “Muscle Twitches & Nutrition,” Livestrong, June 10, 2015, http://www.livestrong.com/article/430910-muscle-twitches-nutrition/, last accessed September 14, 2017.
“Eyebrow Twitches & Magnesium,” Livestrong, May 07, 2015, http://www.livestrong.com/article/534521-eyebrow-twitches-magnesium/, last accessed September 14, 2017.

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