Have you been experiencing eye twitching lately? While not uncommon, eye twitching — or myokymia as it's clinically called — is certainly annoying and frustrating. Here's what causes it and how you can stop it.
You’ve likely experienced this at least once in your life — you’re minding your own business, and your eyelid starts twitching out of nowhere. This is a very common phenomenon, known as myokymia, but many people are unaware of why it happens. This blog will tell you all about that pesky twitch.
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What is myokymia?
Eye twitching— which is actually the twitching of your eyelid — is a common and harmless phenomenon. This involuntary blink can happen multiple times a day, and if severe, it may affect your vision.
There is one facial muscle that closes your eyelid, and another that raises your eyelid. Any problems with these muscles, or any other muscles surrounding the eye, can cause your eyelid to twitch. Anyone can have eye twitching, but it is more common in middle-aged and elderly women.
Most eyelid twitching only lasts a few minutes, but sometimes it can last for days or longer. If you are experiencing an eyelid twitch that is not going away, book an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors— it could signal a rare but serious neurological condition, such as a nerve palsy or multiple sclerosis.
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What causes myokymia?
Researchers are not completely sure what causes eyelid twitching, but there are multiple triggers that can cause your eye to twitch such as:
- Excess caffeine consumption
- Irritation of eye surface/eyelids
- Wind/air pollution
- Alcohol intake
- Dry eyes
- Eye strain
- Side effect of certain medications
Very rarely, eyelid twitching can indicate more serious conditions like:
- Nerve palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Other neurological disorders
When should I see my eye doctor about an eyelid twitch?
The twitching should go away on its own in a few days or weeks, especially with better rest & stress reduction. You should schedule an appointment at My Optometrist Calgary if:
- The twitching has been occurring for more than a few weeks
- Twitching is occurring in other parts of your face or body
- You experience sudden changes in your facial appearance or in the movement of your face
- Your eye is red, swollen, sore, or has any discharge
- Your eyelids are drooping
- One or both eyelids completely close/you have difficulty opening your eyes
How can I get rid of my eyelid twitch?
Removing the stimulus should reduce or halt the twitching - so reducing caffeine or alcohol intake, treating dry eye or allergies, or avoiding irritants should stop the twitch from occurring. Rarely, eyelid twitching that cannot be resolved otherwise can be treated with Botox injections to stop the involuntary muscle spasm that is causing the eyelid to twitch.
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