Eyelid Twitching Causes and Treatments
DEFINITION of Myokymia
Myokymia is the medical name for eyelid twitching. Myokymia is spontaneous contracture of the eyelid muscles, usually the orbicularis oculi muscle. Myokymia is usually unilateral (one eye only) and more often involves the lower eyelid instead of the upper. The condition is not serious and is usually self limiting.
Myokymia is not the same as blepharospasm although some choose to call myokymia a mild form of blepharospasm. Blepharospasm is a more forceful closure of the eyelid that can become uncontrollable.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS of Myokymia (Eyelid Twitch)
Rapid twitching/flutter movement of the eyelid (either upper or lower lid) is the sign and the symptom of myokymia. The eyelid twitch may last a day or a month or longer.
Although the patient believes it is very noticeable to others, it is usually so subtle that others are not aware of the condition.
CAUSES of Eyelid Twitch (Myokymia)
Although the exact cause of myokymia is usually not known there are certain things that can trigger eyelid twitching. Common causes are:
- Excessive caffeine
- Eye strain due to possibly needing a new optical prescription or computer eye strain
- Nutritional imbalances, possibly low magnesium
- Allergies and histamine
- Dry Eyes
TREATMENT for Eye Lid Twitching (Myokymia)
1. Have your eyes examined for possible eye strain issues and follow the advice of your eye doctor.
2. Get plenty of rest, eliminate caffeine and alcohol and reduce stress.
Alternative Treatments for Myokymia
1. Quinine sulfate tablets (by prescription only) 130 mg. (half of a 230 mg tablet) at bedtime for one to two days.
2. Drink quinine water. Unfortunately, it only has 50-75 mg of quinine per liter. Therefore, one may need to drink up to two liters. A mild case may be resolved with only one liter of quinine water. Some energy drinks also have quinine but often contain significant amounts of sugar and caffeine and therefore are not good choices.
3. Botox injection
4. If allergy related, antihistamine eye drops or antihistamine tablets