If you or your loved ones have spasms in your eyelids and eyes, and this is a cause for concern, if you want to know what causes eyelid spasms and eye spasms and what are the ways to get rid of them, we recommend reading our article.
Doctors call involuntary, recurrent, and uncontrollable contractions and spasms that occur in the eyelid muscles, eyelid twitching.
Sometimes doctors use a more specialized term called myokymia to describe the above conditions.
In this article, we want to make you more familiar with involuntary and uncontrollable eye spasms or so-called eyelid twitching.
What is eyelid twitching or involuntary spontaneous eyelid spasms?
Doctors say blepharospasm or eyelid spasm means involuntary blinking and also closing the eyelids uncontrollably.
blepharospasm is a progressive complication that the most common group of people affected are middle-aged and elderly women. The most common form of blepharospasm is called Benign Essential Blepharospasm by doctors. which occurs when the patient’s eyelid closes frequently and involuntarily.
Doctors say that blepharospasm is actually a type of dystonia, a movement disorder in a group of cells that make up a muscle.
More precisely, dystonia means involuntary contraction that occurs repeatedly and for a long time in a muscle or group of muscles.
How does blepharospasm manifest?
According to doctors, blepharospasm usually occurs gradually and step by step. When a person is going to have this disorder, at first, they may just feel dry eyes or have a sensitivity to light in their eyes. Usually, there will be no involuntary muscle contraction around the eye early in the journey, but After a while, eye stimulation for any reason causes eyelid spasm attacks.
Among the things that irritate the eyes the following can be mentioned:
For example, exposure to sunlight, wind, as well as rapid movements of the head and neck, rapid movements of the eyes around and up and down, as well as being in a noisy environment cause the eye to be irritated and the person realizes that his eyelids are involuntarily blinking and his eyelids are closed.
As the disorder progresses, the severity of each attack and the maintenance of the frequency of attacks increase, This means that the person experiences more and more severe attacks, so that sometimes some people say that the closing of their eyelids takes several hours after each attack, and in these cases, the person becomes practically blind for a few hours and loses his eyesight. Sometimes this condition and attack is so severe that it makes the person feel ashamed of being in the community and distances himself from the crowd. It may isolate and exacerbate underlying depression in older adults.
It should also be noted that being in unfamiliar environments, being in a situation where the person is under stress and anxiety, aggravates blepharospasm or the onset of attacks. It can be said that when a person focuses on a specific activity, blepharospasm attacks usually decrease. It is also said that blepharospasm usually disappears during sleep.
What causes blepharospasm?
Doctors say that because blepharospasm is a type of dystonia and the origin of all dystonia that occurs in all muscles of the body is due to a disorder in the function of the basal ganglia of the brain.
So what causes involuntary spasms in the eyelid is actually a disorder of these basal ganglia.
These basal ganglia play a vital role in regulating the coordinated movements of our body muscles, but it must be said that it is not yet clear exactly what problem or disorder causes blepharospasm, and some people with Blepharospasm may have the condition spontaneously and for no apparent reason.
In many people, dry eye is a major cause that triggers these spasms. Sometimes eyelid spasm is associated with other types of dystonia in the person. Also, the family members of the person with involuntary eyelid spasm may have dystonia in other areas, so hereditary and genetic factors may be involved.
Physicians can usually detect blepharospasm based on the clinical signs. The diagnosis does not require a special test or x-ray, but we should only say that paraclinical procedures are necessary if we want to confirm or rule out an accompanying possibility, such as a tumor.
There are different options for treating involuntary and spontaneous eyelid and eye spasms and doctors choose one of these methods according to the condition of the affected person.
Among the available treatments, the following can be mentioned:
The main cause of these spontaneous eyelid spasms is still unknown, so there is no specific drug that can be said to treat these spasms exclusively after use.
Today, different groups of drugs are used according to the condition of the person and the rate of response of the affected person. Anticonvulsant drugs, sedatives, antidepressants are among the drugs that are usually prescribed by doctors in these conditions. We must say that the response of people with different drugs will definitely be different and we cannot say in advance that a particular drug will be suitable for the person, it will often be necessary to try different drugs under the supervision of a doctor to finally find the drug that is more suitable for the person.
But doctors say that drug treatments will not be very effective in controlling this complication, however, the use of medication can cause a relative, transient and temporary improvement and make it easier for the patient to tolerate the condition, but there is a group of patients who have almost no response to medication..
- Botox injection:
Botox is a brand that contains botulinum toxin.
Doctors say that currently, the chosen treatment and the best treatment for involuntary eyelid spasms is the injection of this substance. Of course, there are different brand names of this toxin in the global pharmaceutical market but we use the general term Botox here.
After injection, Botox will be absorbed by the nerve terminals in the area, which are the terminals that command the muscles in the area to contract.
At these terminals, injected Botox blocks the release of a chemical mediator, which doctors name acetylcholine, the chemical mediator that sends the contraction signal to the muscle. With the release of this acetylcholine, it causes a temporary paralysis of the muscles of the area, which lasts up to six months, depending on the condition.
Botox is injected locally into the muscle. The muscle responsible for closing the eyelid will become paralyzed after a few days of injection and will no longer be able to contract, as a result, the involuntary spasm of the eyelid disappears.
It is said that the effect of the injection usually appears about one to two weeks after the injection and finally remains for six months.
After this period, it is necessary to repeat the Botox injection and it is said that according to studies, sometimes in some patients the symptoms will go away after once or twice of injection, but you should know that this condition is not very common and it is generally necessary to repeat the Botox injection every six months depending on the individual’s condition and the duration of Botox in him or her.
This method is a very effective method in controlling the annoying symptoms caused by involuntary eyelid spasm and in more than ninety to ninety-five percent of cases, it causes a very significant improvement, but we must note that Complications such as blurred vision, drooping eyelids can accompany this injection, and all side effects are transient and will never be permanent.
Surgery is your doctor’s choice to relieve involuntary spasms of your eyelids and eyes when medication or Botox injections have not worked for you and you are someone who is not interested in having repeated injections, and using different surgical techniques to treat spasms is common. In fact, the most common technique is muscle removal, in this method, the part of the muscle that is responsible for closing the eyelid is removed with delicate surgery. This method can accompany 80% of cases of improvement in your symptoms of blepharospasm, but you should know complications following surgery are definitely greater than Botox injections. In addition, the side effects of Botox injections are reversible after a maximum of six months, but the side effects of surgery will often be irreversible.
As mentioned above, stress, anxiety, and nervous tension trigger the onset of the spasm and exacerbate the symptoms. so educating the patient and informing others about the patient’s condition is very important.
Effective support from family, friends and relatives of a person with involuntary eyelid spasm will definitely have beneficial results in managing a person’s symptoms and condition. We must say that severe blepharospasm attacks lasts even for several hours, and during this period, the person is practically blind. It is very important that the patient’s living environment is immunized, so that if this condition occurs for a few hours and the person loses his or her vision due to the involuntary closing of the eyelid, there is no danger to the person.
blepharospasm can aggravate a person’s anxiety. All of this ultimately causes the person to avoid being in a friendly environment in the community and to be isolated. Treatment of anxiety and depression in these conditions is absolutely necessary to be able to improve the quality of life and performance in daily life.
Among the measures that can be taken to help these patients the following can be mentioned:
Wearing dark sunglasses will help these patients with involuntary eyelid spasm.
The first thing is that standard dark sunglasses prevent intense light radiation to the eye and therefore prevent eye irritation to some extent and prevent the onset of involuntary eyelid spasm.
The second thing is that dark glasses can prevent the other person in the community from noticing the involuntary blinking of the infected person by hiding the appearance of the patient’s eyes, so by using these glasses, the person can be more present in the community and among friends.