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What to do about that darn eyelid twitching?

A recent New York Times had an article entitled, Why is My Eyelid Twitching - And how do I get it to stop? And various experts are quoted saying the causes are unknown, reduce stress, reduce caffeine, etc.

But sometimes the doctor discovers things as the patient! And that was certainly true for me.

During my ophthalmology training, I was taught the same information in the news article, and made similar recommendations to my patients. Until one night when I awoke with one side of my face in spasms, and my right temple numb. I massaged it, and both the numbness and spasms went away. But right then, I had my EUREKA moment! I concluded that eyelid spasms in most people resulted from irritation of the 7th cranial nerve, also known as the "Facial Nerve," which provides muscle movement for all the muscles on the face. And both the right and left 7th nerves exit the brain from just underneath the ear lobe, and then travel across the temple and face.  Stanford University has a beautiful image showing the route of the 7th Cranial Nerve. So what do I recommend now to my patients who don't have any other discovered medical issue?

Answer: Buy a new pillow, preferably a foam pillow, that doesn't create pressure points over the 7th Cranial Nerve. 

 

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