The accompanying symptoms
The eyebrow twitching can also be accompanied by headaches. These are usually one-sided and can radiate into the eye or upper jaw, for example. A possible cause is stress, which can lead to tension and hardening of the muscles in the face and neck area or to nightly grinding of the jaw joint.
Over a longer period of time, this state of tension can cause headaches. In order to relieve the tension, an attempt can be made to loosen the tense muscles by massages or heat. Additional relaxation exercises can also be helpful. If there is no relief, the headache should be clarified by a doctor.
The musculature involved
The muscle that is permanently active during eyebrow twitching is the orbicularis oculi muscle. It is supplied by the facial nerve. In addition to the movements of the eyebrows, it is mainly responsible for opening and closing the eyelids.
If a doctor/neurologist is consulted because of the eyebrow twitching, an interview (anamnesis) of the patient takes place at the beginning. The doctor will try to find out whether there are any accompanying symptoms and under what conditions the twitching occurs. The interview is often followed by a blood test to check whether there is a magnesium deficiency. If a serious cause cannot be ruled out by these measures, radiological imaging, in the form of magnetic resonance imaging, can follow to rule out the possibility of the nerve being damaged/compressed in any way.
What to do when you bat an eyebrow?
Unfortunately, there is usually not much you can do against the eyebrow twitching, but you have to wait until it stops. Usually this is the case very quickly. With some patients, however, it takes several days to weeks, which is naturally very unpleasant.
Since eyebrow twitching is often triggered by increased psychological strain or stress, it is recommended to reduce the strain if possible or to use relaxation methods such as autogenic training. Sometimes the patient is also recommended to undergo psychotherapy. If it is a diagnosed tic disorder, behavioural therapy is often developed and applied together with therapists.
In case of a magnesium deficiency, one should change one’s diet. Cocoa, fruit and vegetables in particular contain magnesium and are suitable for replenishing the magnesium balance. If the magnesium-rich diet does not help, magnesium can also be supplied in the form of high-dose preparations from the pharmacy. If it is found to be a neurological cause, an injection with botulinum toxin can also be given, which partially paralyses the facial nerve and stops the twitching. If the cause is a facial hemispasm, surgery is required.
Can that be a tic, too?
A tic disorder refers to involuntary motor movements or vocal expressions. They can be suppressed to a certain degree. Typical motor tic disorders can include frowning and twitching around the eyes.
If the eyebrows twitch repeatedly at irregular intervals, this indicates a Tic disorder. In this case, a doctor should be consulted so that the diagnosis can be confirmed. Tic disorders can be treated with neuroleptics or behavioral therapy.