MYOKYMIA is a general term for a quivering or involuntary movement of a single muscle group around the eye. While MYOKYMIA feels conspicuous to a patient, it is barely perceptible to an observer. MYOKYMIA starts rather suddenly and ends just as abruptly. The most commonly affected muscles are those that close the lids over the eye (orbicularis) and the superior oblique muscle, which moves the eye down and toward the nose. In the case of the latter, the patient may see double during an attack. With the orbicularis, a simple twitch is felt usually in the lower lid. These episodes may last a few seconds or minutes, but rarely more than a few hours.

The most frequently contributing factors are anxiety, fatigue, lack of sleep, stress and overwork. Sometimes alcohol and drug use may be involved as well. Some eye drops may cause MYOKYMIA, but rarely so.

TREATMENT consists of correcting the basic cause of the disorder if it can be readily identified. No medical treatment is generally advised. In persistent, bothersome cases medicines can be given to quiet the muscle twitches. These drugs have the potential of causing side-effects and generally should be avoided.


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