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A Twitching Eye

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology' started by Dr.Night, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Dr.Night

    Dr.Night Famous Member

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    For the last two weeks I have had a twitch in my left eye. It has gotten to the point that it is doing it constantly. Is this something to worry about or will it go away?
    [h=2]Question[/h] For the last two weeks I have had a twitch in my left eye. It has gotten to the point that it is doing it constantly. Is this something to worry about or will it go away?
    [h=2]Answer[/h] Eyelid twitching can have many causes. Some of these causes can be indicators of a serious problem, but the majority of cases are not serious. The list of common possible causes includes: fatigue, lack of sleep, habit (a nervous tick), local irritation of the cornea or conjunctiva (misdirected eyelash or cyst; dryness), unilateral blepharospasm, and hemifacial spasm. We shall discuss blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm in more detail as they are fairly common and it is important to distinguish them from one another.


    Blepharospasm - also called eyelid spasm - is the uncontrolled closure or blinking of the eyes. Benign essential blepharospasm is the most common type of blepharospasm, and its cause is often unknown. It usually begins gradually, often precipitated by eye irritation or emotional stresses. Blepharospasm usually affects both eyes, and disappears during sleep. It may progress, even becoming socially embarrassing and interfering with vision.


    Treatment of blepharospasm usually entails botulinum toxin (Botox) injections as first line therapy, with surgery for only the most intractable cases. Botulinum toxin acts by temporarily paralyzing the nerve impulses to the eye muscles. Many patients have complete relief of their symptoms with the first injection. Benefits typically begin within one to fourteen days, and last about 3 months. A second injection may be given if blepharospasm persists.


    Hemifacial spasm is a condition that involves spastic contracture of half the face that is forceful, uncontrollable, and extremely painful. Spasms can persist during sleep. It is most commonly due to compression of the facial nerve near its origin from the brain, due to an abnormal blood vessel or a tumor. Neuroimaging (a CT Scan or MRI) will help with the diagnosis. Treatment may include surgery for the underlying cause, selective destruction of the branches of the facial nerve, or Botox injections.


    Your doctor (or an ophthalmologist) should carefully examine your eyes with a "slit lamp". Local causes of eye irritation can often be helped by eyelid hygiene and the use of ocular lubricants (artificial tears). Eyelid hygiene can be performed by applying baby shampoo onto a soft wash cloth that has been dipped in warm water and then used to gently rub the closed eyelids for 15-30 seconds on each side.

    Source : A Twitching Eye | HealthandAge – Medical Articles and News for Health in Aging > Live Well, Live Longer
     

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