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Do Eye Twitches require a visit to the doctor?...my eyes hav

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For as long as I can remember, I have had strange twitches (friends and relatives describe it as a "flutter") with both my eyes. I have rarely been able to notice them and can't control them myself, or else voluntarily "flutter" them when asked to. I don't realize when it happens, (except for sometimes if it's really bad, then things go sort of dark like I'm blinking for a prolonged period of time), and I can't watch it in a mirror, but I have been told that my eyes sort of roll back and my eyelids flutter up and down really quick. It only lasts a second or so, and I rarely notice when I do it which can be really embarassing. I get asked constantly about what it is, and I have never known. My mom told me that her sister used to do it all the time, but she died young of cancer so I don't really know what to expect from it. I can't say it's been getting worse, but I don't remember it ever happening as a child until I was about 10 years old. I haven't noticed that it happens in specific light conditions, except that once I step outside into the daylight I squint my eyes and I can almost feel that I am doing it a LOT because it gets really dark and I can't see properly for seconds at a time. My mom said it's nothing I should worry about and just a strange reflex, but I am beginning to become concerned about it. Is it something I should get checked out? Thanks.

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replied April 21st, 2006
Vision & Eye Disorders Answer A822
Twitching of the eyelids can be caused by an eye disorder, a neurological disorder or a psychiatric disorder. Inflammation of the conjunctiva or a foreign body present in the eye can cause reflex twitching if the eyelids. It doesn't seem likely that you have such an eye problem because your “twitching” has lasted too long. There is one neurological symptom/sign called "fasciculation" wherein a small muscle or a group of muscle fibers contract repeatedly very fast for a short period of time without control. Fasciculations can be physiological or are a sign of neurological disease... but they usually happen only on the one side at ta time (unilateral), which is not happening in your case. The third possibility is that you are experiencing ticks. Ticks are fast, unpredictablel muscular contractions (usually of the facial muscles) which are the result of anxiety. You can visit your GP and then probably one of these specialists for further diagnosis: an ophthalmologist, a neurologist ,or a psychiatrist.
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