Monday, August 11, 2008
I had a patient with MS that came in with complaints of an eyelid twitch. Two days later, my other good friend complained about an eyelid twitch as well. So I decided be best to address the issue of how to soothe the eyelid twitch.
An eyelid twitch, also known as myokymia, is benign, spontaneous contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle (Cranial Nerve 7) affecting one of the lower eyelids, but it can affect the upper eyelid as well. It usually occurs when someone is under a lot of stress, excessive alcohol or caffeine intake. So that explains why everyone's eyelid twitches during finals.. stressed out, no sleep, and huge amounts of coffee. haha.
The doctor I was working with that day recommended that my patient drink some quinine water a.k.a tonic water to help calm the nerve down. The eyelid twich is self-limited so it will go away by itself. Just relax a little more (if you can!), get a little more sleep and decrease the intake of alcohol or caffeine. I've also heard of using warm compresses on the eye as well. A more dramatic form of treatment is getting botox injections, but since this is something that will go away, it's not really recommended as a first treatment.
Myokymia is common in a host of neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis and Guillian-Barre syndrome, but it is also common in the general population as well. Isolated incidences without other signs of symptoms are usually nothing to worry about!
*sorry about the delay in posts! its finals week :( wish me luck! but i can't wait to go on my cruise next week!! one week of full relaxation!
Source: kellogg.umich.edu, emedicine.com