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Eye spasms, twitches and tics are fairly common. While the top eyelid can twitch, it’s more commonly only the bottom lid of one eye that’s affected and is caused by muscle twitches. The majority of these types of twitches come and go, but they can sometimes last weeks or even months.
They can be caused by many things, such as stress, alcohol, dry eye, eye strain, caffeine, allergies, lack of sleep or even poor nutrition. If your alcohol or caffeine intake has increased recently, try cutting back. Dry eyes can be caused by aging, alcohol, caffeine, heavy computer use (which can be alleviated with computer glasses), and even certain medications (allergy medication, anti-depressants, etc.). Check with your eye doctor because there are many ways to treat dry eyes nowadays. While itchy/watery eyes can be treated with anti-histamines, those same drugs can cause dry eye so consult with your doctor before taking anything. And if you think it might be due to a nutrition deficiency (lack of magnesium has sometimes been attributed to eye twitches), it’s best to consult with your family doctor before randomly buying and taking supplements or vitamins. While these twitches tend to be temporary and not very serious, there are more serious conditions that should be diagnosed by a doctor.
In more severe cases where twitches don’t go away and involve the entire eye or half the face, botox injections can help stop the involuntary muscle contractions. Check with your eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
While you and your doctor work on figuring out the cause of the twitch, don’t feel self-conscious about it. Take comfort in knowing that these twitches are generally so subtle that others don’t usually notice the tiny muscle contractions.
Thinking about getting some cheap colored contact lenses from the drug store, beauty salon or dollar store? You might want to think again. Sure, the price is right, but federal law prohibits the sale of contact lenses (even colored lenses) without a valid prescription. Additionally, most of these stores don’t have the training or knowledge to provide instructions on how to care for your contacts.
So what’s the trade-off for saving a few bucks? Infection of the cornea due to improper care, called keratitis, is very common. And improperly fitted lenses can cause abrasions of the cornea. The abrasion can become infected and may lead to ulcers. Left untreated, ulcers can cause irreversible damage to the cornea such as scarring that permanently affects vision. Complications increase if you are a first-time contact lens wearer.
So is it worth it? Even one night of wearing these ill-fitting contacts can put you at risk. And when combined with dehydration due to alcohol, the risks are even greater. Please, save your eyesight and consult a licensed optometrist to get fitted for your colored contacts, whether for Halloween or regular use.
For more information, see this article on ABCnews.com.
Do you experience dry eye symptoms such as burning, stinging or redness? Does it affect your ability wear contact lenses or cause twitching of the eyes? Flaxseed oil and fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acids that have multiple health benefits, one of which includes prevention of dry eyes, and many doctors are now recommending a daily supplement of the omega-3s.
Protection and Prevention
The omega-3 in flaxseed oil is called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA); when digested, it is converted to two other omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which protect cell membranes and have been shown to reduce inflammation, and may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis.
Before starting any nutritional supplement, it’s always a good idea to consult with your family physician or eye doctor before taking significant quantities. This is especially true if you take prescription or non-prescription drugs, as adverse drug interactions can occur.
Both flaxseed and fish oils can increase the risk of bleeding and reduce blood clotting when used with blood thinners (even aspirin) so be careful and consult with your doctor.
Vitamin E deficiency can be caused by long-term use of fish oil so it’s a good idea to look for fish oil supplements that also contain vitamin E if your multi-vitamin doesn’t already contain it.
For more information, take a look at this article.
If you have ever asked or thought:
“Is there a way to make my lenses as comfortable at the end of the day as they were earlier in the day?”
“Why do my eyes look red after my lenses have been in for several hours, and how can I make that go away?”
“I had to give up wearing contacts, but wish there was a way to be able to wear lenses comfortably.”
Then these new lenses may be the answer to those issues. Dailies Total 1 is the first water gradient lens ever developed. The central core of the lens is silicone hydrogel material (33% water) which delivers superior breathability. The outer portion of the lens is a hydrophilic (water loving) ultra-soft surface gel designed to provide exceptional comfort. This outer layer is 80% water which approaches 100% water at the surface of the lens. What this means to you is a lens that virtually melts into your natural tear film. 90% of patients report that they don’t even feel the lens on their eye, and that even includes at the end of the day.
Check out this video that shows how the lubricity of Dailies Total 1 compares to other contact lenses.
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the thin membrane that lines the inner eyelid or white part of the eye. If it becomes inflamed, the eye becomes red or pink, hence its name. Treatment of pink eye depends on what caused it. Possible causes can include viral infections, bacterial infections, pollutants, allergens and underlying diseases of the body. Some common symptoms of pink eye are:
- Tender and swollen areas in front of the ears
- Swelling of the eyelids
- White, green or yellow mucous discharge
- Crustiness and sticky matter around eyelids, especially upon awakening
- Itching or burning of the eyes
- Watery eyes
Highly contagious forms of conjunctivitis are viral and bacterial in origin. To prevent spreading of the infection, be sure to wash hands frequently, avoid touching eyes and don’t share common objects such as linens, towels, or make-up.
If you think you have conjunctivitis, have your eyes checked for medical treatment. And be sure not to use eye drops prescribed from previous infections or those prescribed for someone else as they can be inappropriate and can worsen your current infection.
Many people are aware of ultraviolet (UV) radiation’s effects on the skin, but did you know that UV light can also damage your eyes and vision significantly?
Acute effects of excessive UV exposure to the eyes can lead to a photokeratitis of the cornea, also known as as “welder’s flash” due to an artificial UV source, or “snow blindness” if caused by indirect sunlight reflected off shiny surfaces like snow or ice. Staring at the sun or solar eclipses can lead to a “burn” of the retina (located in the back of the eye that processes light) called solar retinopathy. Severe solar retinopathy will permanently damage a patient’s central vision. Do not look directly at the sun.
Long-term exposure to UV radiation from the sun is a common cause of cataracts, which is a clouding of the natural lens in your eye. Patients with significant cataracts will report blurry vision and an increase in glare. Up to 10% of all skin cancers occur on the eyelids, of which basal cell carcinoma is the most common type. A pinguecula is a yellowish, slightly raised thickening of the conjunctiva overlying the white part of the eye (sclera). A pterygium is an elevated, wedged-shaped growth of the conjunctiva that extends onto the cornea. Both conditions can make the eyes look red and inflamed.
Whether the source is natural, like the sun, or man-made, like tanning beds, UV radiation can harm your eyes in many ways. See your optometrist annually for an eye exam, to learn more on UV effects, and to learn how to protect your eyes for a safe, healthy year!