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A condition of nervous tic in the eyes it can cause some concern in people who suffer from it more or less habitually but ... what lies behind this symptom?
What is a nervous tic in the eyes
First, you need to understand that what do we mean by nervous tic in the eyes, considering and assessing that at least three common types of eyelid spasms generally fall within this definition, such as eyelid spasm, essential blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm.
As for the first, that is spasm of the eyelids, we may well remember that a slight unilateral spasm of the lower or upper eyelid, or occasionally of both eyelids, is usually a common issue, which should not cause concern, and which usually resolves within a few days. This discomfort can be associated with a lack of sleep, stress or excess caffeine.
The second is the so-called essential blepharospasm. It is an involuntary condition that involves both eyes and begins with an increase in blinking frequency and eventually leads to the closing of the eyelids and compression of the muscles around the eyes. In some cases of essential blepharospasm, the muscles of the mouth or neck are also involved. When these spasms occur, involuntary closing of the eyelids can cause temporary visual impairment. Essential blepharospasm is rare but very annoying and often disabling and, therefore, it is evidently necessary to share in a timely manner with your doctor what to do.
Finally, we come to the third case, the so-called hemifacial spasm. In this case, it is a condition that involves the involuntary closing of the eye together with the muscles of the cheek, mouth and neck, but only on one side of the face.
Symptoms of nervous tic in the eyes
The nervous tic in the eyes can manifest itself with a small or significant spasm, in the measures we have summarized above.
However, please note that the symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have eyelid spasms. However, if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is always wise to contact your eye doctor for a full examination.
Causes of nervous tic in the eyes
The cause of a slight twitching of the eyelids is not known to date. In contrast, there are many more concrete suspicions about what the determinants of a are essential blepharospasm, for which we generally speak of focal dystonia, or abnormal movement, produced by the part of the brain that controls movement. The cause of essential blepharospasm is almost never a psychiatric illness.
It is also believed that the cause of the hemifacial spasm is an abnormality in the nerve of the facial muscles, which causes a contraction of the face.
Risk factors for nervous tic in the eyes
Essential blepharospasm usually occurs more commonly in women and in older age.
Test and diagnosis
Each eye tic condition should be addressed with your doctor if it is not resolved on its own in a short time, in order to proceed with a careful clinical examination. Rarely, hemifacial spasm is caused by a tumor pressing on the facial nerve but, if in doubt, an MRI test can be done.
Treatment and medication
As regards i eye tic treatments, it is good to distinguish the approaches according to the specific hypothesis.
Starting with the twitching of the eyelid, as a rule, small eyelid spasms do not require any treatment, as they usually resolve spontaneously. The reduction of stress, the use of hot baths, the correction of any refractive errors and the lubrication of the eye with artificial tears can help. Some ophthalmologists recommend reducing the use of caffeine.
As for the blepharospasm, this can be treated with medication, botulinum toxin injection, and surgery. Medicines and biofeedback rarely manage blepharospasm. Botulinum toxin injections are now the most commonly recommended treatment for blepharospasm.
The injection of botulinum toxin in very small quantities into the muscles around the eyes will stop the spasm. However, keep in mind that the injection works for several months but will wear out slowly and usually must be repeated 3 or 4 times a year. The treatment is very successful with few side effects. On rare occasions when side effects occur, they include dropping of the eyelids or double vision. Side effects generally last 1 to 2 weeks, while positive effects last 3 months. In addition to botulinum toxin therapy, a surgical operation is occasionally required to remove the muscles involved.
Finally, we also remember how botulinum toxin injections can relieve eyelid and facial spasms in patients with hemifacial spasm. A neurosurgical procedure for hemifacial spasm, microvascular decompression, may also be useful in this context. Beware, however, of possible serious complications.