An eyelid spasm is defined as strong blinking or winking of the eyelids that could not be controlled. Oftentimes, it affects both eyes but can also affect only one eye. Once the condition becomes worse, the blinking or winking turns persistent. The condition might also involve the forehead, or the muscles close to the eyes.
The precise cause of the eyelid spasm is not known. It might be an issue with a region of the brain that controls muscular movement.
One is more likely to experience eyelid spasm if the following are present:
- Family history of muscle spasms in any body part
- Parkinson’s disease
- Dry eyes
- Wilson’s disease
There are also some medications such as those used to manage Parkinson’s disease that increases the risk.
What are the signs?
The signs that might be present include:
- Blinking, winking or squinting the eyes that could not be controlled
- Difficulty keeping the eyes open
The symptoms typically settle while sleeping and might worsen with reading, stress, driving, watching TV or being exposed to bright light.
Management of eyelid spasm
The treatment is based on the root cause. Remember that treatment might be required for life in some cases. Nevertheless, correct management can control the symptoms.
- In some cases of eyelid spasm, a trace of botulinum toxin A might be inoculated into the muscles that are responsible for closing the eyelids. This works by weakening or stopping the muscle spasms for a few months. The shots might be given again to keep the spasms under control.
- Drugs taken orally can control the eyelid spasm for a brief period but can trigger other side effects.
- Surgery is also suggested to remove some of the muscles that are responsible for closing the eyelids. The surgery can also weaken or stop the spasms.
- If a drug is the cause of the spasms, lowering the dose or stopping the dose can stop the eyelid spasm.
- In case the spasm is aggravated by bright light, it is recommended to use dark glasses both indoors and outdoors.
- If dry eyes are the cause, the doctor might prescribe drops or ointment to lubricate the eyes.