Eyelid Myokymia Treatment
Have you ever experienced twitching of your eyelid? This condition is commonly referred to as eyelid myokymia. This condition is very common and often will resolve itself. Understanding more about myokymia and its causes will help you to lessen the frequency of its occurrence and to understand when a more serious problem might be present.
What is Myokymia?
Myokymia is a broad term that can be used to describe involuntary and spontaneous muscle movement or quivering. This movement is often strong enough to be an irritation but not strong enough to move a joint. Many people experience myokymia with the muscles in their eyelids. Generally the bottom eyelid is impacted, but this condition can be found in the top eyelid as well.
Myokymia is usually a temporary condition that will resolve without treatment. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours and in rare instances can even last a few weeks or months. Most doctors are not concerned by mild cases of myokymia since the condition is only temporary and does not usually cause any long term problems.
While most cases of eyelid myokymia are not a cause for concern, there is another type of myokymia that can interfere with vision. This is known as superior oblique myokymia. This condition exhibits itself in repeated bouts of movement or shaking of the eye that cannot be controlled. It can result in shaky or tilted vision. This condition does impact vision, but is not progressive. The symptoms of this condition may be able to be controlled by working with an eye doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of Myokymia?
The main symptom of myokymia is uncontrolled twitching or movement of a muscle. When this occurs in the eyelid it is known as eyelid myokymia. Eyelid myokymia can last for a period of days or weeks and in rare cases months. It can appear and disappear quickly. The bottom eyelid is affected more commonly than the top eyelid.
What Causes Myokymia?
The exact causes of myokymia are unknown, but certain factors have been shown to increase the occurrence and severity of eyelid myokymia. These factors include but are not limited to caffeine consumption, anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, heavy use of TV and computer monitors, alcohol consumption and certain medications. In some cases myokymia can be caused by an allergic reaction.
Eyelid Myokymia Treatment Options
Myokymia will generally resolve itself without treatment. This can take days or weeks. Since the condition is often temporary many people choose to simply wait until the eyelid twitching goes away on its own.
While eyelid myokymia will often resolve itself, there may be times when consulting with a doctor is needed. Those experiencing myokymia should always see a doctor if they are concerned about any symptoms that they experience. It is also important to visit a doctor if the twitching is accompanied by pain, pus, sensitivity to light, blurry vision or swelling. You should also see a doctor if the twitching worsens or does not resolve itself within several days. If myokymia is impacting your daily life or interfering with vision a doctor may be able to help.
Doctors may be able to help you identify the causes for this condition and to reduce the frequency of eyelid twitching. In some cases medications may be used to reduce the problem. Botox (botulinum toxin) can be injected into the affected eyelid muscles to cause temporary paralysis. This may stop the eyelid from twitching for a period up to 3 months. In other cases anti-epileptic drugs may be used. Surgery is used to treat this condition in serious cases.
There are also a few home treatment options for this condition. Many people have found that applying warm or cold compresses can be an effective way to alleviate this problem. If the myokymia is allergy related using an antihistamine can often help. Reducing common myokymia triggers like caffeine consumption and overwork can also be effective.
Most of the time eyelid myokymia is nothing to worry about. It is simply a temporary spasm of the eyelid muscles that is more of an irritation than a problem. Reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption and getting more rest will often reduce the occurrence of this condition. Generally it will go away on its own. If the problem persists a doctor can treat eyelid myokymia with medication or surgery.
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