For over two months, my upper right eyelid twitched all day, every day, and made me look like a man on the verge of an explosive emotional breakdown. Now, I’m not talking about the harmless little ticks and occasional spasms of the eyelid we all experience from time to time — the ones no one else can really see — I’m talking about violent contractions of the muscles above my eye, obvious enough to cause my wife to laugh at me and my German language classmates to recoil from my very presence in fear and confusion.
According to every masochistic Google health search I performed, the main causes of twitching eyelids are:
- Eye Strain
- Dry Eyes
- Debris Beneath the Eyelid
- Nutritional Imbalances
So that pretty much covers everything! I mean, as a freelance graphic designer, I am always stressed about where my next paycheck is coming from, and I spend all day straining my eyes in front of my computer monitor. I get up early and hit the gym every day, so I’m often very tired. I drink a fat mug of instant coffee every morning — at least two scoops — so my heart runs double-time. I drink heroic amounts of German beer on the weekends because German beer is awesome. I have powerful pollen allergies, which cause dry, itchy eyes and no-doubt pack all kinds of filthy shit beneath my eyelids. And as for nutritional imbalances? Well, I do eat a lot of disgusting German meat products.
When my wife and I visited the United States for Spring Break, we went to a huge party filled with doctors and medical professionals of all kinds. (It was an older crowd, but we still partied our asses off.) Anyway, I ran into my optometrist — a man I’d known my entire life — and showed him my freakish eye problem. Here’s how our conversation went, word for word:
ME: *Beer in hand* “See?! Did you see that?!”
DOCTOR: “Yes. That’s called ‘myokymia.’ It’s harmless.”
ME: “But it’s been going on for months now. Oh God, it’s a brain tumor, isn’t it.“
DOCTOR: *Laughing* “No, no — it’s very common. Persistent twitching like that can last hours, days, months… sometimes even years.”
ME: “Years?! Holy Christ. But you’re absolutely sure it’s not a brain tumor, right?”
DOCTOR: “Right. It’s not a tumor.”
ME: *Eyeing him suspiciously and taking another swig of beer* “You’re sure?”
DOCTOR: “Yes. I’m sure”
A week later, we returned to our home in Hannover, Germany, and my twitching eyelid continued to embarrass me like a dog licking his butt hole at a cocktail party. At a loss for any real solutions or cures, I began keeping track of my problem and its progress. Here are the complete, unabridged entries from my journal:
- March 6th: Upper right eyelid began twitching very hard, off and on, throughout the day. Especially from mid-morning through early evening.
- March 20th: Still twitching.
- April 15th: Still twitching.
- April 27th: Still twitching, but the twitches are weaker. I have been using allergy eye drops every day the last few weeks. Could be the answer!
- May 5th: Nope. Eyelid is still twitching hard as fuck.
- May 6th: Twitching has been going on for exactly 2 months now.
- May 14th: Still twitching. Out of desperation, I have stopped drinking instant coffee and switched to black tea.
- May 21st: Oh holy Christ on rice, my eyelid hasn’t twitched at all for a week!
- May 31st: Apparently cutting out the absurdly strong instant coffee was the answer. I am a complete and total moron.
Wow. So just cutting back on caffeine was the answer? Clearly I am the smartest man alive. So, overall, I have to rate my experience with eyelid twitching — and my own complete disregard for its most obvious solution — with 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:
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