Eyelid twitching is common, but treatment may be necessary

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Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky of Coastal Jersey Eye Center says eyelid twitching is extremely common and really annoying, but “99 percent of the time” it is nothing serious and goes away in a few days.

In cases where the movements occur repeatedly and do not resolve spontaneously in a few days, a physician should be consulted, however.

Eyelid twitching, or ocular myokymia, affects almost everyone at some time in their life, Uretsky says. The most common causes are stress, fatigue and excessive caffeine.

Eyestrain after a change in glasses or dry eyes are other common reasons. Smoking and allergies have also been seen as causes.

“In my experience, stress and fatigue are the main culprits,” Uretsky said. “I tell my patients to get more rest, drink less caffeinated beverages and consider stress reducing measures like getting more exercise.”

A more serious eyelid movement disorder called blepharospasm causes the eye lids to contract involuntarily and the eye closes. These movements occur repeatedly and do not resolve spontaneously. Sometimes there are other involuntary facial movements.

In these cases, a physician should be consulted. Treatment with Botox is very successful, Uretsky said.

Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in comprehensive eye care. The Coastal Jersey Eye Center has offices in Linwood and Cape May Court House. To make an appointment, call 609-927-3373 in Linwood or 609-465-7926 in Cape May Court House, or visit www.coastaljerseyeye.com.

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