Eye Twitching (Myokymia)

Eye twitching, medically referred to as myokymia, can be annoying or it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition. Don’t take chances with your eyesight. Call the local eye doctors near me in New York City at Eye Physicians for the most effective treatment for myokymia. They have the expertise, training and experience of dealing with eye twitch treatment and a whole range of other eye disorders that may affect you or your family. Schedule regular exams now before you have an eye emergency.

    What Is Myokymia?

    Myokymia is the technical term for eye twitching that refers to a movement or spasm of the eye muscles or eyelid that can’t be controlled. It’s characterized by tiny contractions in the muscles of the eyelid. It most commonly affects the lower lid but can also affect the upper eyelid. Without eye twitching treatment, myokymia can be annoying, but it isn’t usually cause for serious concern.

    If you’re looking for an optometrist that knows how to treat eye twitching in the Manhattan area, look no further than Eye Physicians. They provide expert treatment for eye twitching as well as comprehensive eye care including routine eye exams and emergency eye care for you and your children.

    Eye Twitching (Myokymia)

    What Causes Myokymia?

    Stress affects the body in many different ways and is a leading cause of eye twitching. Other causes of myokymia include:

    • Lack of sleep
    • Dry eye syndrome
    • Eye strain
    • Eye allergies
    • Dehydration
    • Alcohol use
    • Excessive caffeine use

    Certain medications, such as medicine used to treat Parkinson’s disease, may cause eye twitching, but this is a rare cause of the condition. Even more rarely, persistent eye twitching may be a sign of an underlying neurological condition such as:

    • Head trauma
    • Brain tumor
    • Brain damage from a stroke or inflammation
    • An autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis
    • A poor diet with insufficient levels of certain nutrients such as magnesium

    What Are the Symptoms of Myokymia?

    The main symptom of myokymia is an eyelid that twitches uncontrollably. Other symptoms you may experience include:

    • Involuntary blinking or squinting
    • Spasms that affect the lower face
    • Sensitivity to light

    To determine if you have myokymia, your NYC eye doctor does a full examination and takes your medical history. If you have symptoms of myokymia that have been ongoing for several months, your ophthalmologist may order imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan. This type of testing can help your doctor pinpoint the cause of your eye twitching and the best form of treatment for myokymia and treatment for the underlying condition that led to the eyelid twitching.

    Are There Different Types of Myokymia?

    Muscle twitching can affect any area of the body. Generalized myokymia can cause persistent contractions, stiffness and weakness of muscles all over the body. Other types of myokymia that specifically affect the eyes include:

    • Ocular myokymia. This is the most familiar form of myokymia that causes eye twitching. In this type of myokymia, the facial nerve sends random signals to the muscle surrounding the eye, causing it to twitch and spasm.
    • Blepharospasm. In this condition, spasms are stronger than in most people who have eye twitching. In blepharospasm, muscle tics affect both eyes and may cause them to close or squint.
    • Superior oblique myokymia. In superior oblique myokymia, the muscle that controls eye movement spasms, which makes the eye jump slightly. This can cause double vision and affect visual clarity. This form of myokymia is rare.

    Facial myokymia is a type of myokymia that specifically affects the facial muscles. It may affect one side of the face or both. Hemifacial spasm is a similar condition that affects only one side of the face and can occur when the facial nerve is compressed.

    What Are My Options for Eye Twitching Treatment?

    Eye twitch treatment isn’t always necessary, since the symptoms frequently go away on their own within a few minutes, hours or days. If symptoms persist, however, your NYC eye doctor may recommend myokymia treatment options that you can try at home, which may include:

    • Applying a warm compress to your eyes when you experience an eye spasm
    • Reducing time spent looking at digital screens such as computers or mobile devices
    • Cutting back on the excessive use of caffeine or alcohol
    • Keeping your eyes lubricated with artificial tears
    • Finding ways to reduce stress such as learning deep breathing exercises and meditation
    • Getting enough sleep

    If your lifestyle is sedentary, work at becoming more active. Walking at least 30 minutes a day improves your overall health and your ability to cope with stress, which helps relieve eye twitching. If home remedies fail to provide you with sufficient treatment for eye twitching, your doctor may suggest more aggressive eye twitch treatment such as:

    • Botox injections to calm muscle spasms around the eye
    • Oral medications such as muscle relaxants or anti-seizure medication
    • Prescription eye drops for strong eye spasms

    Some people get relief from acupuncture. And in rare cases, surgery may be considered. Your Manhattan eye doctor isn’t likely to recommend surgery unless your symptoms are severe and haven’t been reduced using other approaches to treatment.

    Can I Prevent Eye Twitching?

    Eye twitching affects most people at some point and is usually only a minor annoyance. Some things you can do to help your eyes stay healthy that may reduce the risk of developing eye twitching include:

    • Limiting time using a digital screen, so if you sit in front of a computer all day, look away from the screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to focus on an object at least 20 feet away
    • Working on keeping allergies under control by avoiding triggers, staying indoors on high pollen days and using antihistamine eyedrops
    • Talking to your eye doctor about which eye drops are best for when you experience dry eyes that could lead to twitching

    Your eye health is affected by your overall health. It’s important to make healthy lifestyle choices such as including regular exercise in your daily routine and eating nutritious foods. Having regular eye exams by reputable and experienced eye care professionals is the best way to protect your eye health and your vision and ensure that any eye disorders are caught early.

    Your eyes deserve top notch care, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Eye Physicians. Contact the experts today if you have eye twitching, blurry vision and headaches or any type of eye pain or discomfort. They strive to get you in and out of the office in under an hour with a definitive diagnosis and effective steps for how to treat eye twitching that’s affecting your life.

    Page Updated on Jul 3, 2024 by Dr. William Hogue, OD (Optometrist) of Eye Physicians
    William Hogue, OD

    My name is Dr. William Hogue, and I am an optometrist dedicated to providing top-quality professional eye care. I'm trained in treating various ocular conditions, including dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and retinal issues.

    I earned my chemistry degree summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee. Subsequently, I obtained my Doctorate of Optometry (OD) and Master of Science (MS) from the New England College of Optometry. Following graduation, I completed an ocular disease residency at the State University of New York’s College of Optometry. Beyond my clinical work, I have also been a supporter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH).

    More about Dr. Hogue

    Eye Physicians
    110 Lafayette St, Suite 503
    New York, NY 10013
    (212) 292-4814

    Why Choose Eye Physicians?

    Entrust the care of your precious eyesight to highly skilled and experienced eye care professionals. For top-notch ophthalmologists and optometrists in Downtown Manhattan, choose Eye Physicians. Eye Physicians ensures prompt care, precise diagnosis, and personalized treatment plans.

    Schedule an Appointment