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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Eye Spasm
July 2001

Q. Can you tell me what is the cause of my right eyebrow spasming frequently (at least once a day)? I have dry eyes and use artificial tears, but my left eye often still feels like there is sand in it. This happens when I get the spasm in the other eye. It never happens on the left eye. I try to push the eyebrow down, but it goes back up again. After I sleep 8 hours it is gone again, but always comes back. Could this be caused by a mineral deficiency, like magnesium or potassium? Or is it related to allergies?

A. You are having symptoms of dry eyes and also spasm of the muscles around the eyes. The first question would be whether these symptoms represent some underlying condition that needs attention. For example, the high sugar levels in the bloodstream of diabetics cause thirst and other symptoms of dehydration. Start with a visit to your doctor for a general exam which will likely include some lab work to determine if your metabolism is working well. The lab work would include measurements of your glucose (sugar) and electrolytes (minerals). If this exam is fine, then the focus can be directed to the eyes. Certainly allergies can cause such symptoms, as can fatigue, and a side effect of many medications can include dry eyes. Establishing a correct diagnosis will be the key to your treatment.






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