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Eyelid Myokymia (Lid Twitching)

Myokymia is a common symptom characterized as a sudden, involuntary twitching of the eyelid muscles generally around one eye. It is caused by a misfiring of the neurons supplying the eyelid muscles. The most common cause of this annoying twitching generally results from loss of sleep, fatigue, stress and anxiety. Other influences may include over-indulgent use of alcohol, smoking, caffeine and energy drinks. Eye irritation or a foreign body in the eye can also be triggers.


These spontaneous and annoying muscle spasms are a frequently reported symptom, however typically they are of no medical concern and resolve without medical treatment. Most cases usually resolve within three weeks. If eyelid twitching occurs with frequency, obtaining adequate rest and reducing caffeine intake is the easiest and best cure to try first. A secondary remedy is the temporary use of either topical or oral antihistamines; however care must be taken since oral antihistamines can cause drowsiness. Other reported treatments include the use of cold packs over the affected eye. In extreme cases, where they do not resolve despite a change in rest and/or lifestyle habits, Botox injections have been documented to stop persistent twitching episodes. When symptoms persist despite self-treatment, further consultation with your eye care specialist is advised.


Frequent contributing factors include too much caffeine high levels of anxiety fatigue stress overwork and a lack of sleep. It happens to all of us – out of the blue your eyelid starts twitching uncontrollably and you're sure everyone around you can see it. You shouldn't fret though because in the majority of cases it is an occurrence that is bothersome at most.


Myokymia is a general term used to describe a quivering or involuntary movement of a single muscle or muscle group around the eye. It is caused by a misfiring of the neurons supplying the eyelid muscles. The most commonly affected muscles are those that close the lids over the eye (called orbicularis) and the superior oblique muscle which moves the eye down and toward the nose. In the latter case the patient sees double during an attack; in the former it is usually a simple twitch in the upper or lower lid. While it feels incredibly noticeable to the sufferer it is barely perceptible to any observer. This condition can resolve spontaneously but it can also last up to three weeks.


Frequent contributing factors include too much caffeine high levels of anxiety fatigue stress overwork and a lack of sleep. Usage of certain drugs and alcohol may also be involved. This condition usually occurs in young healthy individuals. Eye irritation or a foreign body in the eye can also be triggers – these should be assessed by your eye care practitioner. Otherwise to help suppress the twitching there are several simple treatment options: cold compresses over the eyes sleep and relieving the contributing factors. Currently there is no medical treatment for this condition and it is not generally advised since the severity of the condition is minimal.


In rare situations this condition can occur as a precursor to blepharospasm a more severe form of myokymia.



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