Involuntary eyelid movements are not uncommon. Some of us describe them as spasms or twitching. Eyelid twitching, medically termed orbicularis myokymia, feels uncomfortable at best and quite debilitating at worst. Most of the time, this undesirable condition lasts just a few days. However, some individuals may experience eyelid twitching for weeks or even months at a time. For individuals in this latter group, we recommend seeking help from a specialist to explore alternative treatments.
The cause of eyelid twitching remains relatively unknown. Sometimes, it is associated with a lack of sleep, too much caffeine, or stress. On very rare occasions, it may be the first sign of a disease known as essential blepharospasm. Generally, however, eyelid twitching is treated quite easily. To many patients’ surprise, BOTOX is the best treatment.
Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a protein that binds to receptors in muscle cells and temporarily inhibits their movement. Because eyelid spasms are involuntary muscle movements caused by an unknown trigger, they can be stopped by blocking the nerve impulse that makes them twitch. In simple terms, Botox relaxes the eyelid muscles and stops the myokymia.
Treatment of eyelid twitching with Botox is very safe and quite effective. Patients can expect to see improvements within a week of Botox application, a procedure done in the doctor’s office. In most patients, this will permanently take care of the problem; however, some individuals may need additional applications a few months later (see video).