Eyelid Twitching and Disorders of the Eyelid and Frontal Eye
Numerous factors can cause eyelid twitching, including stress, fatigue, bright lights and excessive caffeine 1. Sometimes the eyelid twitching continues for longer than a week, becoming more serious and starting to close the eyelid. This requires investigation, since any condition that affects the eyelid is called an eyelid disorder.
Here are the most common eyelid disorders and frontal eye disorders, their causes, symptoms and treatments:Blepharospasm (Eyelid Twitching) is an involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscle. The most common factors that make the muscle in the lids twitch are fatigue, stress, and caffeine. This kind of eyelid twitching is not considered a harmful condition and therefore there is no treatment available. Patients are however advised to get more sleep and drink less caffeine.
Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids and which is quite difficult to manage because it tends to recur. This condition is mainly caused by staphylococcus infection and scalp dandruff. Blepharitis symptoms include a burning sensation, the feeling that there is something in the eye, excessive tearing, blurred vision, redness of the eye, light sensitivity, red and swollen eyelids, eyelid twitching, dry eye and sometimes crusting of the eyelashes on awakening. Treatment normally consists in maintaining good hygiene of the eye and holding warm compresses on the affected eyelid to remove the crusts. Gently scrubbing the lid with the warm compress is recommended as it eases the healing process. In more serious cases, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Hordeolum (Stye) is an infection of the sebaceous glands of Zeiss, usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It is characterized by an acute onset of symptoms and it looks like a red bump placed underneath the eye. The main symptoms of styes include pain, redness of the eye and sometimes swollen eyelids. Styes usually disappear within a week without treatment. Otherwise, antibiotics may be prescribed and home remedies such as warm water compresses may be used to promote faster healing. A stye is normally harmless and does not cause long lasting damage.
Chalazion is caused by the obstruction of the oil glands and can occur in both upper and lower eyelids. Chalazia may be mistaken for styes, due to the similarity in their symptoms. This condition is, however, less painful but it tends to be chronic. Chalazia heals within few months if treatment is administered. If untreated, it can resorb within two years. Chalazia that do not respond to topical medication are usually treated with surgery as a last resort.
Entropion usually results from aging, but can sometimes be due to a congenital defect, a spastic eyelid muscle, or a scar on the inside of the lid that could be from surgery, injury, or disease. It is an asymptomatic condition that can rarely lead to trichiasis, which does require surgery. It mostly affects the lower lid and it is characterized by the turning inward of the eyelid.
is another age-related condition that causes chronic eye irritation and scarring. It may also be the result of allergies and its main symptoms are excessive tearing and hardening of the eyelid conjunctiva.
Eyelid Edema is a condition in which the eyelids are swollen and contain excessive fluid. It may be serious when it increases the intraocular pressure. Eyelid edema is caused by an allergic reaction to food, drugs, plan allergens, trichinosis or infections. The main symptoms are swollen red eyelids, pain and itching. Treatment varies, depending on what is causing the condition. Whereas infections are fought using antibiotics, allergic edema treatment consists of staying away from the allergen. Chronic bouts of eyelid edema can lead to blepharochalasis.
Eyelid Tumours. Basal cell carcinomas are the most frequently encountered kind of cancer affecting the eyelid, making up 85% to 95% of all malignant eyelid tumours. The tumours may be benign or malignant. Usually benign tumours are localized and removed before becoming a cancerous threat and before they start to impair the vision. Malignant tumours on the other hand tend to spread to surrounding areas and tissues.
Eyelid Dermatitis is the inflammation of the eyelid skin. This is mostly a result of allergies or it is triggered by contact dermatitis of the eyelid. Symptoms include dry and flaky skin on the eyelids and swollen eyelids. The affected eye may itch. Treatment consists of conducting proper eye hygiene and avoiding the allergens that trigger the condition. In rare cases topical creams may be used, but only under a doctor’s supervision.
Ptosis (Drooping Eyelid)
Ptosis (Drooping Eyelid) is when the upper eyelid droops or sags due to weakness or paralysis of the levator muscle that are responsible for raising the lid, or due to damage to nerves controlling the muscle. It can be a manifestation of the normal aging process, a congenital condition or due to an injury or disease. Risk factors related to ptosis include diabetes, stroke, Horner syndrome, myasthenia gravis, brain tumour or other cancers that can affect nerve or muscle function.
Ablepharia (Ablepharon). This is a rare congenital condition where there is an absence of or reduction in the size of the eyelid.
If you experience eyelid twitching, call Insight Optometrists now for a full eye examination to check the health of your eyes and eyelids.
1. Health Direct – Health Information and Advice: Twitching Eye