For reasons I can’t go into, I recently went through a three-week period of extreme stress. I seemed to develop a lot of physical symptoms from it: a pain my leg, tendinitis, insomnia, and raised blood pressure. I consulted with a physician due to these issues.
Thankfully the stressor has now gone, most of the symptoms have stopped, and my blood pressure is back down to normal.
However, on the last day of the stressful situation I developed a twitch in my right lower eyelid. And it just won’t go away. It’s intermittent, but has been twitching on and off for the past nine days now. The longest I’ve been without it kicking in is about five minutes. It’s not debilitating, but it is fucking annoying, it’s visible to others, and it does wobble my vision a bit. I had thought it would have evaporated like my other symptoms once I was calmer, but not so.
I’ve read a bit around caffeine exacerbating things, or having a look at sodium consumption levels, but nothing seems conclusive. I will be seeing my doctor in a week’s time, so this is not seeking medical advice, but I wonder if anyone has had similar experiences, and can talk about prognosis, or knows of anything that may help.
It’s so irritating that yes, I am prepared to consider woo.
This happens to me like clockwork when I get stressed- I think I’ve had a twitchy eye for every final I’ve ever taken. It is reliable enogh that I use it as my canary in a coalmine for knowing when I need to slow down and take care of myself.
Any relaxation technique should help. If you don’t mind a little woo, Andrew Johnson’s self-hypnosis iPhone apps are like relaxation crack to me. I don’t buy the suggestivity, but they do lull me into the deepest, most relaxing naps ever. Other than that…meditation, excersise, journaling…anything that works for you should help. At the worst, it’ll go away eventually. Mine usually lasts a few days at most.
Ah yes, I have the apps on your recommendation already. In a while I will go and try one.
Strangely after writing that post I got 15 minutes’ respite, but then it came back.
Are you getting enough sleep? If I get even slightly sleep-deprived I’ll get a twitch in my eye.
Not sleeping well at night, but napping in the day.
Yes, I infallibly get that with stress too (and, for what it’s worth, caffeine – might it be worth cutting down on tea or coffee for a few days to see if it helps?). I agree with the suggestions for relaxation techniques, even just going into the toilet to shut the door and breathe deeply for a few minutes.
I get the twitchy eyelid sometimes, but it’s transitory and not that bothersome. It happens when I haven’t had enough sleep.
If the stress is giving you insomnia, perhaps ask your doctor about a sleeping pill scrip, or try something alternative and woo to get yourself at least one solid night’s sleep? Going without proper sleep for extended periods of time makes me feel really crappy. It’s amazing how good I feel after a solid 8 hours.
I had an eye twitch that lasted a month! You’re right that it’s a stress thing, can you manage to fit a short walk into your day? A few minutes in nature can be very calming.
Are you drinking enough water (or Gatorade)? I know dehydration can causing muscle twitching.
What the link says. Stress, caffeine, lack of sleep - rare chance of something worse causing it. I work in ophthalmology and had a twitching eyelid for the longest time, and was told to reduce stress, get off of caffeine, or get more sleep. Sorry!
I’ve recently begun to think that napping during the day is a cause of not sleeping well at night. Makes sense in a way – if you’re less sleepy at night, your sleep will be more fragmented.
Total uninformed WAG: Botox?
You are probably going to have to teach yourself to relax.
Between the caffeine and the stress, your body can only take so much.
Dial down the caffeine at a set time during the day. Say, nothing after 12noon. After that, make it water or tea.
De-stress your body with a walk and a hot bath.
Go to bed every night at the same time.
No, that’d be a eyelid NON-twitch, no matter how hard you tried.
I found vitamin E helped get my neurons aimed in the same direction.
Another vote for Gatorade. Just to try.
I second all the stress stuff. I always get that eye twitch when I’m extremely stressed.
Another thing to think about is whether you are straining your eyes themselves. Do you work on a computer or otherwise spend a lot of time focusing on a screen? I saw my ophthalmologist a few weeks ago and asked him about the annoying twitch I had in my right eye, and he said in addition to general stress it also could be aggravated quite a lot by spending a lot of time staring at a computer screen (basically my job description), especially if I’m really focused on my task and forget to blink. I’ve learned to take more breaks, stare out the window or just close my eyes for a few minutes, and the twitch finally stopped.
A thought: I have those contact lenses that you sleep in. And the one in the eye with the twitch is a toric lens. I’ve been waking up with that eye feeling dry. So the lenses are now out and glasses on. I’ll give it a few days.
I hydrate like a mother fuck already. And I go running most days.
I am selling my house and pretty much everything I own, then leaving the country. There will be little respite from the stress for the next few weeks.
Just want to say I’m sorry, not just for the annoying twitch but for the stress that caused it. Probably a stupid question, but have you tried frequent, very gently massages of the eyelid? Best of luck on this and the big move.
I get that under stress, too, and it is maddening. More sleep, meditation, yoga, lots of water, and a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement are my weapons. Sometimes I’ll add a potassium supplement, or eat a banana every day.
I had an almost constant lower-eyelid twitch for over six months, which was driving me toward despair or homicide. I began taking magnesium (250mg/day) after reading somewhere that it might help, and figuring it couldn’t hurt. I can’t say for sure it was the magnesium, but my eyelid did stop twitching after a week or two and it hasn’t returned for several months.
If you want commiseration and anecdotes, this person’s blog has over 2000 comments from fellow eyelid-twitchers.