What to Do about a Twitching Eyelid
There are many different things that can go wrong with your eyes, and the eye specialists at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons are dedicated to treating every one of them. From serious concerns like cataracts or glaucoma that could permanently destroy your vision, to relatively minor and simple to correct issues like chronic dry eye or common refractive errors, board certified ophthalmologist Dr. William Segal and comprehensive consultative optometrist Dr. Marc Lay have years of experience treating every form of vision problem, even the most obscure. One of the most unusual complaints that trouble many of our patients is a simple twitching of the eyelid. Although virtually unnoticeable to an outside observer, and unlikely to result in any long term damage or even a temporary interruption of vision, a twitching eyelid, or blepharospasm, can nevertheless be maddening when it persists for days, weeks, or even months on end. Here is some insight into what can cause these annoying involuntary ticks, as well as some advice on how they can be treated.
The first step in finding a solution for a twitching eye is determining what caused the condition in the first place. Unfortunately, there are many different factors that can lead to blepharospasm, some environmental and others internal, and this can make determining the precise cause difficult. They most commonly seem to be triggered by stress, sleep deprivation, or eye strain, all of which can place an inordinate amount of stress on the tiny muscles that control movement of the eyes and eyelids. In these cases, the blepharospasm is temporary and can easily be treated with rest. Certain drugs, like alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine, have also been found to trigger eyelid spasms, as have airborne irritants that trigger allergies or chronic dry eye. In these cases removing the offending factor, either by cutting back on the drug in question or by using saline or antihistamine eye drops is usually the best course of action.
In rare cases, eye twitching may continue despite applying these simple and straightforward treatments. Such instances may be the result of a more serious medical issue, like a bacterial eye infection or pinkeye, or even of a neurological condition like Bell’s palsy or Parkinson’s disease. This is why it is important to have persistent cases of eyelid twitching carefully evaluated by an eye care specialist in order to determine how best to proceed, particularly if the twitching or abnormal movements affect half of the face in addition to the eyelid. Although extremely uncommon, it is possible that both eyelids clamp down tight, making it impossible to open your eyes. If this occurs you should seek emergency care immediately. Advanced treatment options for persistent cases of blepharospasm are available, but need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Understanding and treating the issues that can affect your vision is all we do at Georgia Eye, and we believe that helping our patients to understand all the intricacies of eyesight is the best way to make sure they get the care and treatment that they need. If you are experiencing any vision problems, have concerns about the health of your eyes, or would like to schedule a regular vision screening or a recommended comprehensive eye exam, please contact Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay today to make an appointment. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information on how to keep your vision clear.