Have you ever had an episode where one of your eyes moved uncontrollably for several days? Eye spasms, while bothersome, are usually not serious.
Eye spasms are an unsettling sensation, as you may feel like your eyelid is moving uncontrollably. But what often seems like a big move to you, usually cannot be detected even by your friends. Find out what can cause it and how to stop it .
Eye spasms or myokymia is an involuntary contraction of the eyelid muscles that usually affects the lower eyelid. The exact cause of eye spasms is unknown.
Sometimes spasms develop during increased stress. Eye spasms are also associated with high caffeine intake, fatigue, or excessive strabismus. It can also happen after reading or working on the computer for a long time .
Eye spasms are usually a sign that you need to take a break and relax. Have you encountered unusual stress lately? Have you had any sleepless nights? Sometimes the spasms go away after a good night's sleep, but persistent spasms can last up to three weeks.
Here are some common triggers for eye spasms :
- Caffeine or certain medications
- Fatigue due to lack of restful sleep.
- Stress or anxiety
- Smoking or drinking alcohol
- Eye strain caused by using a computer, reading, TV, or bright light
- Dry eyes
Types of eye spasms
Eye spasms can be classified into three types:
- Mild eyelid twitching: In most cases, eyelid twitching is mild and goes away on its own, usually within a few days. Minor eye spasms are usually associated with stress or fatigue .
- Benign Essential Blepharospasm: Blepharospasm is abnormal blinking or twitching of the eyelids as a result of dry eyes, Tourette syndrome, and other conditions. The term "benign" is used to mean that the condition is not life-threatening and "substantial" means that the cause is unknown.
- Hemifacial spasm : More severe eye contractions that sometimes affect the entire side of the face are called hemifacial spasm. Hemifacial spasm can turn into much more severe spasms. This type of spasms can affect speech and food intake.
Hemifacial spasm is usually caused by inflammation of the facial nerves, but it can be the result of a more serious neurological problem. This type of spasm is often treated with injections or medications to relax the muscles .
Spasms of both eyes
If the eye spasms affect both eyes, you likely have blepharospasm. It is a chronic condition that most often affects women over 50 years of age. Blepharospasm can progress to repeated forced closing of the eyes.
Like most eye spasms, there is no specific cause, but it can be exacerbated by stress, bright lights, watching too much television, and fatigue.
If both eyes move, it is advisable to consult an optometrist. This condition can be treated with botulinum toxin injections to relax the muscles and stop the spasms .
Self-care and treatment
Common tips for spasms that are not caused by an eye infection are to cut back on caffeine, reduce stress, and get some rest. But persistent eye spasms can quickly become extremely annoying.
To reduce eye spasms, try applying warm compresses to the moving eye and gently massaging the eyelid with your fingers. A warm compress can be just a clean cloth dampened with warm water. Tilt your head back and apply a warm washcloth directly to the closed eyelid .
For eyelid twitching that lasts longer than two to three days, over-the-counter oral or topical antihistamines (eye drops) can help. Although not a direct treatment for myocamia, antihistamines slow down muscle contractions (spasms), making them less irritating .
When to see an optometrist
If you experience severe eye spasms or spasms that last more than a few days, see your optometrist.
Treatment for severe eye spasms may include Botox injections to paralyze the muscles of the eye, medications to relax the muscles, or surgery .
Get the word of drug information
Most eye spasms will go away on their own after a few days. Try to relax and relieve stress in your daily life. Limit your caffeine intake, get enough sleep, and be sure to take frequent breaks from your computer .