Eye twitching or eyelid twitching is an involuntary and repeated blinking of eyelids. Eye twitching is usually common or harmless and goes away on its own, but if it's prolonged and becomes severe, then it can also affect your vision. There are 2 cases of eye twitching:
Myokymia is an occasional case of eye twitching caused by fine fascicular contractions of muscles and is not a sign of a severe problem. It is a mild case of eye twitch, and in most cases, you don't even need any treatment.
What causes Myokymia?
Usually, eyelid twitching happens without any identifiable cause; however, in case of Myokymia, eyelid twitches can be triggered by any of the below-outlined causes:
- Irritation in the eye or inner eyelids
- Intake of alcohol, tobacco or caffeine
- Eye fatigue or physical exertion
- Bright Light
- Medication side effects
- Air pollution
- Lack of nutrition
When eye twitching lasts for a longer time, mostly weeks or months, it can be a sign of serious neurological condition. Blepharospasm (benign essential blepharospasm) is a rare condition that happens when the part of your brain that controls your eyelid muscles doesn't work properly. It starts with normal eyelid twitches but with time, it happens more often with sustained involuntary contraction. This can also result in partial or complete closure of the eyelids. It is a form of serious and chronic eyelid twitching which requires immediate consultation and a long term treatment. Women (ageing between 40 & 60) are more prone to it than men.
What causes Blepharospasm?
Mostly, the cause of this chronic form of eye twitching is still unknown, but it can cause problems with the muscles around your eyes. Sometimes eye twitching problems can also be a sign of:
- Blepharitis or inflammation in the eyelids
- Light sensitivity
- Pink eye or conjunctivitis
- Corneal abrasion
It is very rare, but eyelid twitch can also be a symptom of a serious brain or nervous system disorder like:
- Parkinson's disease
- Bell's palsy
- Cervical dystonia
- Tourette's syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Oromandibular dystonia and facial dystonia
How to go about eyelid twitching treatment?
Eye twitching treatment depends on case to case. If eye spasms are very frequent, you need to observe their occurrence carefully and try to take preventive measures such as:
- Monitor your sleep patterns; try to take a regular sleep of 6-8 hrs
- Cut down on caffeine, alcohol & tobacco intake
- Try to minimize your stress levels and avoid any stressful activity
- Use eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated
- Use computer eyeglasses while working on digital screens
- In case of a spasm apply a warm compress on eyes
In case these measures don't work, and you still experience frequent and prolonged eye twitching, then it can be a clear indication of Blepharospasm or something more critical, as mentioned above. You should immediately seek professional help. Any delay might lead to functional impairment. Although there is no cure for blepharospasm, but proper treatment can make it less severe.
- Usually, in the case of blepharospasm, most doctors use Botulinum toxin (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin) injections to treat eye twitching; however, these injections prevent eye spasms for a few months, and you need to take further injections to control it
- For short term relief, doctors can also suggest medications like Clonazepam, Lorazepam and Trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride
- When the above methods don't work, your doctor may recommend a surgery called myectomy, in which some muscles and nerves around the eyelids are removed; but this surgery also has its own complications
How Centre for Sight can help?
With so many severe risks associated with eye twitching, it is absolutely critical to get help from the experts. At Centre for Sight, we have a team of experts using state-of-the-art technology to ensure that we provide the best-in-class diagnosis and treatment to all.
Article: Frequent eye twitching? Know the causes & cure
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Dec 21 2020 | UPDATED 02:35 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.