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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Ever get an uncontrollable tremble in your eye? Here’s what you need to know

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Sometimes, one of our eyelids begins to twitch, as if trying to wink at anyone who comes within range or as if shivering from the cold but the more you try to stop it, the worse it gets.

Sounds familiar? Well, in any case, do not worry too much about what others think: although you can feel the movement perfectly, it is difficult for others to notice it: it will not seem that you are flirting, nor that you are a “winker”, that figure of the rural areas of England that were dedicated to transmitting the evil eye simply by winking at you.

An involuntary and harmless spasm

If you suffer from this tremor, you are surely suffering from what is called eyelid myokymia, an involuntary spasm of the eyelid that is harmless, although it is usually triggered by fatigue, stress, or excess caffeine. To solve it, then, it is enough to relax or take a good nap.

For a long time, however, quinine (in the form of tonic water) has been used to eliminate these eye tremors. But if you don’t like the tonic, it also helps to gently squeeze the point of the shaking for a few seconds, which helps to stop it temporarily.

But beware, there is a more worrisome case of tremor of the eyes, as Joan Liebmann-Smith points out in the book Body Signs: Although normally benign, eyelid myokymia can be a sign that warns us of the possibility that we suffer from Meige syndrome or blepharospasm, with which it is often confused. 

In the case of blepharospasm, the eyelids repeatedly close all the way instead of trembling; the eyes are often irritated and very sensitive to light. 

And, unlike myokymia, blepharospasm, if left untreated, can cause vision damage.

Of course, as with all things, the spasms can be a sign of serious eye conditions or are more rarely associated with nerve or brain disorders like Parkinson’s.

If you experience prolonged symptoms or are concerned about the cause, always consult your doctor.

But it’s more likely your body is trying to tell you to get more sleep, de-stress and lay off the caffeine.

In the meantime, style it out with a wink.

Image Credit: Getty

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