Posts Tagged ‘myokymia’

7 Causes of Eyelid Twitching

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Many of us have had it before.  The eyelid flutter that seems to mysteriously appear without explanation.  Commonly it lasts a day or two but sometimes they can occur for weeks or even months at a time-annoying!

The eyelid twitch is called myokymia and is caused by involuntary contractions of the obicularis oculi muscle.  They tend to affect the lower eyelid and are commonly caused by:

  • Anxiety
  • Excessive Caffeine
  • Eye Irritation
  • Eye Strain
  • Fatigue
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Stress

If you are able to pinpoint the suspected cause, then elimination of the risk factor will generally alleviate the twitching.  You may need to update your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Some people find relief with warm compresses.  Nutritionally, potassium and vitamin B may be helpful.  On occasion, a topical tear drop (for dry eye) or topical antihistamine (for allergies or swelling) may be prescribed.  The use of quinine (found in tonic water) is sometimes recommended (not if you are pregnant) for its muscle relaxant properties.  In addition, Botox injections are sometimes used for persistent symptoms.

If the eyelid twitch extends into the facial muscles causing the entire lid to close then that can be a sign of an uncommon, but serious neurological condition.

By Dr. Cook, O.D.

Learn more and schedule an appointment today. Gray Family Vision has two greater Portland Maine locations to serve you in Gray and Windham.