Myokymia (Twitching or Quivering Around the Eye)

 

What is Myokymia?

It is the general medical term for a twitching, quivering, or involuntary movement of muscles. Research has shown that it is a spontaneous discharge or stimulation of a single muscle or muscle group.

Clinical Manifestations

Myokymia may feel very conspicuous to the person having it but is barely perceptible to the public. Myokymia starts rather suddenly and usually disappears suddenly as well. The most commonly affected muscles are the muscles around the eye called the orbicularis that have to do with closing the eye. The twitching is usually felt in the lower eyelid.  It can also affect the superior oblique muscle which pulls the eye down when the eye is looking toward the nose. In this case, the person can have double vision (Diploplia) during the episode of Myokymia.

Other Associated Complaints

The person may complain of spasms, cramps, weakness, or pain. Usually there is no sensory loss, tingling or numbness.

Causes of Myokymia

The most common causes of twitching eyelids are fatigue, stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and over worked. Drug use and alcohol use may also contribute to developing Myokymia.

Less Common Causes

It can be related with MS, brainstem cancers, Guillain-Barre syndrome and post radiation to the area of the midbrain.

Treatment

Treatment consists of correcting any underlying cause of the twitching if it can be identified. If persistent and then depending on the location Botox could be injected to stop the twitching. Systemic drugs have not been shown to be effective.

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