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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11416
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My 8 year old doctor says that occasionally when sitting and

Resolved Question:

My 8 year old doctor says that occasionally when sitting and reading or sitting in class that her eyes will begin to shake back and forth for a period of seconds. She said it corrects itself on its own and doesn't cause any pain. I have never heard of anything like this and don't know if I should be concerned and, if so, what kind of medical professional to take her to see.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

I am wondering if your daughter is talking about her eyelids rapidly twitching rather then her actual eyeballs shaking back and forth. If this is the case then what she is experiencing is called myokymia. Have you ever witnessed these events that your daughter is talking about?

Dr. Rick :

Here is some information on myokymia:

Dr. Rick :

The most likely cause of your symptoms is called myokymia. Myokymia is an involuntary, local twitching of a few muscle fibers in the body of a muscle. This twitching, if it occurs in a limb, is not strong enough to actually move a joint but can be felt and sometimes seen as an area of quivering.

Myokymia commonly involves the eyelids and muscles around the orbit. It often appears and resolves for no apparent reason and has not been linked to any underlying significant pathology. What causes myokymia? Studies have shown that it is associated with anxiety, stress, lack of good sleep, high caffeine intake and the use of some drugs.

The best way to treat myokymia is to get more sleep, decrease caffeine intake and decrease stress. The good news is that myokymia is not a sign of serious underlying pathology and often resolves on its own.

Dr. Rick :

If, however, your daughter is actually having her eye balls shake back and forth, especially if you are able to see it, you should take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist for a full eye exam. While this may be nothing to worry about, as a parent myself, I would feel better if it was checked out.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You bring up the problem I have been having which is I haven't been able to actually see it to see if her eyeballs are, in fact, shaking as she claims. At first, I kind of dimissed it because she tends to be dramatic, etc. However, she is still claiming it is happening but never when I am there. Plus, she struggles in school and has been labeled with a learning disability so I have become even more concerned that there is something neurological going on.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Children are label very easily with a "learning disability" today....I think it is because the school gets more money if they have such kids in their school.
Even if she is not having the eye issues at the time she is examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist a complete eye exam will be able to rule out any ocular conditions that might be causing difficulties at school or that would be suggestive of any neurological issues.
Does this make sense to you?
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