Almost certainly all of us have experienced uncomfortable twitching of the eyelids at some point in our lives.
Dry eye: what is it and how to treat it at home
When someone notices that their eyelid is trembling, in reality what is happening is a kind of spasm, which can be classified as less to greater severity between what is known with the medical terms of eyelid myokymia (small contractions of the eyelid) and benign blepharospasm (involuntary spasms that cause the eye to close partially or completely and something more serious that would require consulting a specialist).
The common denominator of these disorders is that they are movements involuntary, rapid and repeated of the musculature of the eyelid.
Myochemy, the benign disorder that makes the eyelid tremble
Myochemy, which is the one we will focus on in this article, is not usually visible to others, it is only perceived by those who suffer from it because, in general, it does not close the eyelid completely. It does so partially in the form of a small tremor.
In addition, it is usually limited to the lower eyelid of both eyes (although it can also appear in the upper one). It is a tremor caused by involuntary contractions in the orbicularis muscle, which is responsible for closing the eyelids.
When we are awake, the eyelid works non-stop (it is estimated that we blink between 15-20 times per minute, which would be equivalent to once every four seconds, approximately). Therefore, it is important to give it the necessary time to recover and rest (as we will see later).
Of unspecified incidence, it may be a reason for consultation in the specialty of neurology, although tics in the eye are usually harmless, mild and have no effect on vision. They usually occur every few seconds and continue for several minutes before stopping. They do not usually stay for a long time, although in the most severe cases a tic can last several days.
Many of these movements do not need treatment because, as we have seen, most resolve on their own. They are not a serious medical problem either, but we can speak of a malfunction of the motor nerves that drive various muscles of the eyelid.
However, if they are accompanied by other facial contractions or uncontrollable movements, it can be an early warning sign of a chronic movement disorder. If it persists, it could also indicate a neurological condition.
What are the causes of tics in the eye, in addition to stress
Although the exact cause of eye spasms is unknown, it has been related either with an irritation of the nerve fibers that transmit nerve stimuli to the muscle or also with a protuberance dysfunction in the facial nucleus.
In most cases, they are caused by the stress Because, like the rest of the body, the eye muscle, in situations of tension or anxiety, is also very active and is very sensitive and produces these uncontrollable involuntary palpitations. But it is not the only cause, there are others related such as:
- Fatigue. Tics in the eye are often a sign that our body is asking us to stop for a bit.
- Lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can affect the nervous system that controls muscle contraction.
- Strenuous exercise. Physical exertion can also cause muscle fatigue, sometimes resulting in spasms in the arms and legs, and even in the eyes.
- Tobacco Nicotine causes muscles to contract.
- Caffeine intake (or any other exciting substance). It causes the muscles to contract.
- Certain medications Those used to treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease have been linked to affect the muscles of the eyelids.
- Fix your sight for an extended period, especially in front of a screen. This forces the eye to strain and can stimulate irritation and spasms.
Myochemy is rarely the result of an underlying disease.
The four steps to prevent and end tic in the eye
Although myokymia disappears in most cases on its own in a few minutes or hours, treating these spasms, stopping them or making them less noticeable (or both), goes through treating the causes.
The Steps, therefore, they go through addressing the lifestyle factors mentioned and which are the ones that can contribute to controlling and reducing spasms:
- Rest and sleep: As we have mentioned, tics often appear when people are very tired. Taking time off and getting a good night’s sleep can help minimize their presence.
- Cut down on caffeine and stimulants like tobacco or energy drinks and drink more water.
- Decrease the level of stress and anxietyage with relaxing activities or find more time for physical exercise.
- “Hydrate” the eyes To avoid dry eyes using some type of lubricating drops or hydration solutions.
- Move away from mobile screens and other electronic devices.
Despite the simplicity of these guidelines, it is important to see an ophthalmologist if the tremor lasts for several days because it may be a symptom of something more serious. In these cases it may be necessary to carry out an exhaustive study to find the root of the problem.