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Eye Muscle Conditions

Strabismus and amblyopia

Strabismus is when one or both eyes turn in, out, up or down so that your eyes do not point in the same direction. It is usually caused by poor eye muscle control or extreme farsightedness. It is most common in children but adults can also develop the condition. It's important you receive treatment because it will not go away on its own and can:

  • Get worse over time
  • Cause double vision
  • Lead to permanent low vision in the eye that turns
  • Lead to amblyopia, or lazy eye, in which the brain starts to favor the good eye

Gundersen eye specialists may be able to treat vision problems resulting from an eye muscle problem with glasses, prism lenses, vision therapy or surgery.

Eye muscle spasms

Minor muscle spasms or twitching around the eyes (myokymia) may be annoying but are seldom a cause for worry. Most minor eyelid spasms stop without medical treatment. Spasms may be triggered by dry and/or tired eyes so artificial tears and warm compresses applied over the eyelids may provide some relief.

Some face and eye muscle spasms won't go away on their own.

  • Eye twitching (benign essential blepharospasm) is a progressive disorder with involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It causes eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements. The spasms may intensify, forcing the eyelids to remain closed for long periods.
  • Facial spasms (hemifacial spasms) are an involuntary twitching or contraction of the facial muscles on one side of the face. The first symptom is usually an intermittent twitching of the eyelid muscle that can lead to the forced closure of the eye. The spasm may then gradually spread to the lower face and eventually the entire side of the face.

Gundersen eye specialists use BOTOX® to relax muscles and stop spasms. Other treatments may include medication or surgery. If symptoms persist beyond three weeks, contact a Gundersen eye care professional.

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