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Self-diagnosis via the Web

In these days (at least in my life) where you don't know the doctor or the personnel in the doctor's office well enough to call and ask about the "probably nothing, just want reassurance" stuff, the amount of good medical information on the Web from reliable sources is really wonderful.

Three days ago I noticed some twitching in the muscles around my left eye. Not constant, not strong, but definitely there. First reaction was to try to get more sleep--I thought it was likely just fatigue. When it kept up after a couple of nights of more-than-usual sleep, I did some googling.

Looks like it's myokymia: twitching or flickering of the eyelid muscles or other muscles around the eye. Causes: lack of sleep (aha!), stress, excess caffeine. I wouldn't have said my sleep pattern had changed recently, and the caffeine consumption has been fixed for years (4-cup pot made half-decaf, I drink it all), so it must be stress. Didn't really think that had changed much recently, either, but it's not impossible that my body has decided that the stress level has increased.

Anyway, the treatment is get more sleep, drink less caffeine, and reduce stress. If it keeps up for a month or more, you can go see your doctor, who'll probably tell you to get more sleep, drink less caffeine, and reduce your stress level. But at least I have a name for the condition now!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2005 03:28 am (UTC)
Next time...?

Sweetie, just email me, and I'll hook you up with the opthalmology group I used to work with. Their occuloplastics woman (psycho Surgeon Boss) is NUTS, but the rest of 'em are fine, and their triage people are FIRST RATE. They'd have slid you in for a quickie if you didn't have an opthalmologist / optometrist with the Gorgeous Greek God of Optometry there and would have made reassuring noises in the mean time.

(BTW, I've run across this one, and I suspect you got it spot on. Hope it's better soon.)
Sep. 14th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
Huh. I have the twitch occasionally (definitely stress-related in my case) but had never had a name for it before.
Sep. 14th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
Good luck - That must be incredibly annoying!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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