Are you experiencing involuntary blinking? Is this a frequent occurrence? Frequent eye twitching is usually from a condition called benign essential blepharospasm. As one facial muscle opens the eyelid, another one closes it. While there may be a problem with either or both muscles, there are other eye muscles that can contribute to the constant twitching. If it only happens on occasion, the twitching may be caused by too much caffeine, fatigue, or stress. It can then be considered harmless and usually go away on their own. If it goes on for a longer period of time, like, months or even years, it can be a sign of a more serious condition.
Other symptoms include eye irritation, abnormal rate of blinking, sensitivity to bright light, dry eyes, and facial spasms.
While this is not meant to alarm readers, problems with the brain or the nervous system might be the cause of eye twitching. These can include the following:
A previous head injury.
Parkinson's Disease - a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.
Brain damage from inflammation or a stroke.
Reaction to certain mental health medicines.
Meige syndrome - a rare neurological movement disorder.
Multiple sclerosis - a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord that can also cause vision problems.
Bell's palsy - a condition that causes temporary muscle paralysis in the face.
If you have no history of the above-mentioned conditions but your eye twitching continues to be a persistent disturbance, visit an ophthalmologist.
An ophthalmologist will assess your health history and do a physical exam. In some cases, you might be ordered to undergo a CT scan or an MRI to rule out brain irregularities. If other causes of eye twitching are then ruled out, you may be diagnosed benign essential blepharospasm and you often won't need any other tests.
Minor eye twitches will usually go away on its own. You will need to cut back on caffeine, alcohol and tobacco and make sure you get lots of rest. You can use artificial tears if your eyes get too dry. Using sunglasses will also help. Look for a particular pair of rose-tinted glasses called FL-41. The Cleveland Clinic says this is great for those who are very sensitive to bright lights.
So far, there is no cure for benign essential blepharospasm. if your eye spasms are on the severe side, a doctor can inject small amounts of botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, into your eye muscles to control the twitching. The effect lasts for months and you can get another injection once it wears off.
If your eye twitching gets out of control, Cedars Sinai advises that you may need a surgery called a myectomy. In this surgery, a surgeon will remove some of the muscles and nerves of your eyelids. This stops symptoms in many people.
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