Why Is My Eye Twitching? Eyelid Myokymia and Blepharospasm
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That annoying twitch!
One day you wake up and your eyelid is twitching, or what I refer to as "beeping", or it feels like it has its own separate heartbeat, thumping away, driving you nuts. Normally you'll feel this nuisance in your upper eyelids, but it can happen anywhere in the eye. It's referred to as eyelid myokymia in the medical world and can be caused by many factors.
The main causes are
- Eye strain
- Dry eyes
- Substance abuse
- Stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine
How long will the twitching last?
It's hard to say exactly how long the spasms will continue, but for the most part, the twitching lasts for a few minutes. Sometimes it can occur for hours, days or even months at a time. Sometimes it's just random for a few days. Having this "twitch" happen for a prolonged time can cause great anxiety and distress for the person suffering from it.
When a twitch begins, try to eliminate the most common causes as soon as possible. Take care of allergies, dry eyes, check medication side effects. Also rest when you can, stop using stimulants, try to get extra sleep, and talk to your doctor about it if it persists longer than 7 days.
Usually, this issue resolves on its own, over a short amount of time, and is nothing to panic about. It's just very annoying.
Other ways to stop the twitch
There are a few things you can easily do to try to speed up the process of eliminating this annoyance.
- Open and close your eyes quickly, and hold them, like your tensing a muscle, then relax. Do this 5-10 times.
- Lightly massage your eye where the spasm is happening in slow circular motions.
- Blink rapidly for 1 minute
- Close your eyes half shut, and let them completely relax.
- Close your eyes and move your eyeball around under your eyelid in a circular direction, changing from clockwise to counterclockwise
When eyelid myokymia becomes chronic
Very rarely does eyelid myokymia become chronic, but just like anything else with your body, when it does, it's your body's way of letting you know something else could be wrong.
- Dry eyes
- Pink eye
- Light sensitivity
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- Bell's palsy
- Parkinson's disease
- Tourette's syndrome
If your eye twitching does not resolve on its own within a few months or persists for 7 days straight, it's recommended that you see a health professional to determine the cause. Just to be on the "safe" side.
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© 2013 Rebecca