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I have a twitch. Several times a day my left eye shudders like poked Jello.

It started two weeks ago. I was at work. Then, suddenly, my eyes flashed like I’d been staring at the sun. I saw spots for an hour. After a subsequent headache subsided, all was well.

But the next day, the twitch started. It didn’t matter what I looked at or what I did. At the computer, at a book, at children walking to school, at the ice cream store a block down the road, anything I saw could invoke the twitch. This is how I knew it wasn’t anything in particular and external to me causing the twitch.

I went to my optometrist today. He made me read a chart. He pointed lights at me. He made me look at his ear while he got really close. Then he stared at my eye through a machine. He said everything was normal. He said the twitch was psychosomatic, probably caused by stress.

“I don’t feel stressed,” I said.

He replied that it didn’t matter because I probably was anyway. Stress is the kind of thing that causes eyes to twitch.

He told me not to worry unless a) I twitch so much others look at me funny, b) my eyelid droops, or c) my eye “discharges” stuff. He didn’t describe the stuff my eye might discharge, and I didn’t ask. I suspect I would know it if I saw it, eyes not being prone to discharges. He sent me home and told me to relax. I said I would try that.

But I must confess to you something. I didn’t tell it to him because I like him a lot. It’s difficult to relax with a twitch.



“my left eye shudders like poked Jello”

my favorite sentence for the day.


i sometimes have eyelid-twitching, but it sounds like that’s not the case with you. like your optometrist, i assume it’s stress-related or caused by too much caffeine.

I reckon that a twitch might cause some self-fulfilling stress.

I’ve had the eye-twitching thing, but it was not accompanied by any of the other symptoms you mentioned.

Look at it this way: at least you have health insurance now. That’s a reason to be significantly less stressed out.

3: funny you’d mention caffeine, R. I drink a lot of coffee. But I’ve been cutting back this month, adulterating it with decaf. It feels sinful. But at least the decaf’s good beans.

4, 5: Health insurance is much nicer than not health insurance. It also makes me more likely to go to the doctor. I find that this past week that I lie in bed at night, thinking of twitching, and then I twitch.

What’s weird is that I’ve never had this kind of thing happen before. Whatever stress it is I have that I don’t feel is making my body betray me. It’s disconcerting.

i knew someone who had an eyetwitch… it turned out to be a pinched nerve in his cheek. there was nothing he could do about it. occasionally, when things got really bad, he would get a botox injection.

You’re only now getting the twitch? I’ve had sporadic eye twitching since college. These are the usual suspects: lack of sleep, eye strain, stress/anxiety, overuse of stimulants, underuse of stimulants, improper vertebral alignment, living in the Midwest, onset of Tourette’s Syndrome or other undiagnosed neurological disorder. Having said that, the twitch makes rest almost impossible. Try lying down with something pressing on your eyelids (damp washcloth, pillow, etc.). If that doesn’t work, try alcohol, aspirin or valium (also good for lack of sleep, stress/anxiety or overuse of stimulants), but don’t try all three together of course—we’d miss you. Then again, your eyes wouldn’t be twitching—guess it’s your call.

Really, M, you’ve had the twitch that long? It must be maddening, especially sleep’s lack. I went home for lunch today and lay down, and it took fifteen minutes for my eyes to calm down so I could keep my eyes closed.

I’m also surprised the customs agents never looked at you funny when you came into the airport with your passport—all those Middle East visas? “Look: he has twitchy eyes: let’s question him!”

There’s a new twist, by the way. Today, now that the doctor has told me it’s stress, my right started twitching.

I think I’ll follow your advice and try a substance tonight, though—we’ve got seasonal beer from Missouri in the fridge. Made with peaches!

i personally like the valium idea. i need something strong to keep G’s twitching from disturbing me.

i have a feeling discussing the twitch this much may not contribute to its cessation.

Unless twitches, by knowing them, sets them free.

i think George Clinton and the P-funk wanted you to free something else…

My left eye has been twitching since I was 18 years old. Right before my senior prom I started to have these uncontrollable twitching bouts. My granny, being slightly superstitious, said either a stranger is coming or something bad is about to happen. Sure enough my prom date tried to cancel hours before the prom. My granny fortunately convinced him to change his mind. So over the years I have been using the left eye twitch as a guide of things to come. A couple of months ago ,now at the age of 32, my left eye began twitching uncontrollably again. I was thinking what now or who is about to come see me. Well it’s two months later and my left eye has been twitching daily for two months. Now I’m thinking who is about to die or are the cops about to pay me a visit. I don’t need that type of bad news. It’s bad to say this is the first time I thought I look for medical reasons for the twitching, I guess it never really bothered me until now. It’s just nice to know that I am not the only one twitching. Thanks for the website and the information, I greatly appreciate it.

After all of this, my mom told me her eyes had been twitching for years. So there’s probably something heritable in it. Also, gHizzie: your granny sounds awesome.