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Eye Twitching

eye-twitching

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By Medicover Hospitals / 12 Jan 2021
Home | symptoms | eye-twitching
  • Eye spasms, also known as eyelid spasms, are a very common eye condition. These annoying spasms usually affect only the lower lid of one eye, but the upper lid can also twitch. Occasional eye spasms are common. If you have eye spasms more often, you may have a condition called benign essential blepharospasm.
  • Article Context:

    1. What is twitching?
    2. Types
    3. Causes
    4. Diagnosis and Treatment
    5. Prevention
    6. When to visit a Doctor?
    7. Home Remedies
    8. FAQ's

    What is eye twitching?

  • Blepharospasm is any abnormal twitching or contraction of the eyelid. The condition must be distinguished from the more common and milder involuntary tremor of an eyelid, known as a myokymia, but in some cases the spasms are chronic and persistent, causing lifelong challenges. In these cases, the symptoms are usually severe enough to cause functional blindness. The person's eyelids feel as if they are closed and do not open without great effort. People have normal eyes, but for periods of time, they are effectively blind due to their inability to open their eyelids. Reflex blepharospasm, by comparison, is due to any discomfort in and around the eye.
  • Types of ocular contraction:

    Eyelid contraction (myokymia):

  • This most common type of eyelid spasm can occur in the lids of one or both eyes and usually resolves on its own within a few days. Sleeping more, reducing stress, and reducing caffeine intake are effective treatments for myokymia.
  • Blepharospasm:

  • This unusual form of involuntary motion involves both eyes and sometimes causes the eyelids to close completely during the spasm. The muscles around the eyes can also contract, and in some cases, the spasm spreads to the muscles of the mouth and neck. Botulinum toxin (Botox) treatment is often effective in relieving symptoms.
  • Hemifacial spasm:

  • This more extreme spasm is a nervous system condition that most commonly results from the rubbing of a facial nerve by a blood vessel touching a facial nerve. In the hemifacial spasm, all the muscles on one side of the face contract involuntarily. Botox can relieve symptoms, but some patients require a neurosurgical procedure called microvascular decompression to treat the condition.
  • Causes:

  • Eyelid spasms can occur without an identifiable cause. As they are rarely a symptom of a serious issue, there is generally no investigation of the cause.
  • They can occur for the following reasons:
  • 1. Stress:

  • Stress is probably the most common cause of eye spasms. Ways to relieve the tension that can cause your eyelids to twitch are yoga, breathing exercises, spending time with friends or pets, and taking more breaks in your routine.
  • 2. Fatigue:

  • Lack of sleep, whether from stress or for some other reason, can trigger a shaky eyelid. Getting a steady 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night can help a lot.
  • 3. Visual fatigue:

  • Digital eye strain is also a common cause of eyelid spasms from prolonged use of screens, tablets, and smartphones.
  • 4. Caffeine:

  • Too much caffeine can cause eye spasms, try to consume less as possible.
  • 5. Alcohol:

  • If you experience eye twitching after drinking beer, wine, or liquor, try abstaining for a while and your eyelids may stop.
  • 6. Dry eyes:

  • Dry eyes are encountered by many adults, which can cause eyelid twitching. Dry eyes are also common among people over 50 and those who use computers, take certain medications (antihistamines or antidepressants, for example), wear contact lenses, and consume caffeine or alcohol.
  • 7. Nutrition problems:

  • A lack of certain nutritional substances, such as magnesium, can cause eyelid spasms, some reports suggest.
  • 8. Allergies:

  • Allergies can be the cause of itchy, swollen, and watery eyes. When the eyes are rubbed, this releases histamine into the eyelid tissues and tears, which can cause eyelid spasms.
  • Neurological causes of eyelid twitch:

  • A more persistent eyelid twitch, or twitch in which the eyelid closes completely, perhaps a symptom of a neurological disorder that includes:
    • Attention deficit disorder
    • Blepharospasm (involuntary spasm or spasm of the eyelid)
    • Chronic motor tic disorder
    • Facial tic
    • Stroke
    • Tardive dyskinesia (slow or late-onset)
    • Tourette syndrome

    Other causes include:

      Cervical dystonia:

    • This type of medical condition involves uncontrolled movement of the neck and head that twists into an uncontrollable position.
    • Bell's palsy:

    • This is a serious condition in which part of the face slopes downward. This can also result in the activation of a shaky eye.
    • Multiple sclerosis:

    • It is a disease of the central nervous system that causes movement problems and extreme fatigue.
    • Parkinson's disease:

    • This disease involves severe tremors of the limbs and muscles. A person with Parkinson's disease will have difficulty speaking, eating, and walking, as this disease causes muscle stiffness. This can also cause eye spasms.

    Tourette syndrome:

  • This is a neurological disorder that involves involuntary, repetitive movements, and vocal sounds.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment:

    Diagnosis And Treatments
    Eyelid Myokymia
    Benign Essential Blepharospasm
    Hemifacial Spasm
    Laterality Muscles Involved
    Unilateral Orbicularis oculi
    Bilateral Eyelid protractor muscles: orbicularis oculi, procerus, corrugate supercilii
    Unilateral Muscles of facial expression innervated by facial nerve: eyelid protractors, frontalis, orbicularis oris, trian-gularis or mentalis, platysma
    Persistence During Sleep
    no
    no
    yes
    Triggers
    Stress, fatigue, excessive caffeine or alcohol intake
    Stress, excessive caffeine intake, driving, watching television, reading, light exposure, certain eye or head positions
    Anxiety, stress, fatigue, sleep deprivation, reading, light exposure, chewing, certain head positions
    Imaging
    Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain if refractory (to rule out multiple sclerosis and/or brainstem tumor)
    None
    Magnetic resonance imaging of brain
    Primary Treatment
    Avoidance of triggers
    Botulinum toxin injections
    Botulinum toxin injections
    Surgical Options
    None
    Myectomy of one or more eyelid protractors
    Microvascular de-compression of facial nerve

    How to prevent eye spasms:

  • If your eyes sometimes narrow, you can take steps to reduce your signs:
    • Do not consume caffeine
    • Get enough sleep
    • Reduce stress
    • Reduce other sources of eye irritation. This could be through the use of eye drops.
    • Wear sunglasses when necessary

    When to visit a Doctor?

  • With rest, stress relief, and a reduction in caffeine, eye spasms normally go away on their own within a few days or weeks.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor if:
    • The spasms do not go away in a few weeks.
    • Your eyelid closes completely with each contraction or you have difficulty opening your eye
    • Spasms also occur in other parts of the face or body
    • Your eye is red or swollen or has a discharge
    • Your eyelids are drooping

    Home Remedies

    • Banana: One of the main reasons why your eyes twitch is a lack of potassium and magnesium. And since bananas are packed with both of these minerals, they help fight eye spasms.
    • Warm compress: A quick and easy remedy is to apply a warm compress on the eyelids, they are suitable for those sudden movements of the eye.
    • Splash of warm water: Another very effective technique is to splash warm water in the eyes to alleviate the disorder. Alternatively, you can clean your lashes with warm water.
    • Rosewater: Rose water is a very effective cleanser to eliminate eye spasms. Keep rosewater in the refrigerator. Use cotton to dip it in cold rose water and compress your tired eyes with it. Since one of the reasons your eyes are shaking is tiredness, this remedy is sure to bring you immense relief.
    • Potato: Potato has a similar cooling effect. Relaxes the eye muscles and provides ample relief. Take the potato, cut it into small, thin slices, and place your eyes on the potato slices.
    • Take a good rest
    • Flush your eyes with cold water from time to time
    • Look away from computers and devices from time to time
    • Practice the palms technique to relieve stress from your eyes, just rub your hands and place them over your eyes
    • Hydrate by drinking plenty of water, at least 8-10 glasses a day

    Frequently Asked Questions:

  • With rest, stress relief, and a reduction in caffeine, eye spasms normally go away on their own within a few days or weeks. Make an appointment with your doctor if the spasms don't go away in a few weeks.
  • Eyelid spasms are rarely severe enough to require emergency medical treatment. Chronic eyelid spasms may be a sign of a more severe disease of the brain or nervous system.
  • Various conditions that affect the central nervous system and the brain, such as a stroke, can also lead to a twitch of the eyelid.
  • Citations:

  • A Review of the Disease and a Description of Lid Twitch as a Characteristic Sign - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/article-abstract/628084
  • Excessive twitch movements in rapid eye movement sleep with daytime sleepiness - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1440-1819.1997.tb02606.x
  • Destruction of the locus coeruleus decreases physical signs of opiate withdrawal - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/000689939391364X