Twitching eyes and night sweats - just my anxiety?
June 23, 2013 12:00 AM   Subscribe

Are these symptoms just the usual stress-induced annoyances or potentially something else?

For the past three weeks or so, both my eyes have been twitching (outside corners) on and off. It started with the right eye, then moved to the left.

About five or so days ago, I started waking up in the middle of the night experiencing quite profuse night sweats. This isn't the first time I have had these, but I don't have them on a regular basis, maybe once a year.

About ten years ago, I was diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder and OCD. I currently take Citalopram (30mg) a day, which seems to be the medication that works best for me. (Started on it about three years ago after having taken fluoxetine).

I've been feeling pretty tightly wound recently, as I do when stress builds. At the moment, I feel that these symptoms are likely due to work stress and generally being overworked. We are currently a one-income household, as Ms Cultist is finishing a second university degree. I feel a sense of burnout approaching; I'm having trouble concentrating on anything, and have spent much of the past few days in that annoying stare mode where my head feels like a void.

I've had blood tests done before to check for hyperthyroidism but am wondering if I should perhaps do this again. I don't know if it's a condition that can develop at any particular age (I'm 37). Can this potentially be some kind of fatigue syndrome? I regularly have to nap during the day, which has been the case for years, but I have always put this down to anxiety-related tiredness.

Basically, I'm trying to pinpoint if this is simply a case of being extremely stressed or whether I should go see my doctor. My anxiety ebbs and flows. I had a panic attack last night, which usually helps to sort things out, but I'm still feeling rather twitchy.
posted by New England Cultist to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
It is possible that your seemingly unrelated stress and anxiety are part and parcel of an endocrine disorder and/or the stress may be making it worse.

The night sweats and whatever other associated symptoms a more in depth history taken by a doctor would likely reveal shift this towards possibly being more slightly more than stress alone, but only an office visit and some minor tests would let you know the answer for sure.

I would assign this a medium level of importance to get checked out. Best of luck.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 12:11 AM on June 23, 2013

You sound like you need to drop out for a while. Is it possible for you to take a few days off? Just veg out, let the laundry go, order food in, read the books you haven't had time for, or just lounge in bed or on the couch? Extra sleep could do you a world of good.
posted by Cranberry at 12:42 AM on June 23, 2013

Hi, I also take medication for anxiety and experience the eye twitching you describe (onset at adolescence). For me, it is as you observe attendant with sleep disturbance and high stress. Potassium should bring relief -- eat a banana (or two) every day.

Is it possible that you're not getting restful sleep, even without night sweats? Frequent napping would seem to point a finger in that direction. Definitely speak with a doctor about that. Finding a way to improve the quality of your sleep can be a life-changer.
posted by trunk muffins at 6:32 AM on June 23, 2013

This is admittedly a long shot, and not necessarily related to your anxiety or stress, but: have you had your eyes checked recently? Unconscious squinting due to eye strain can definitely cause eye/eye lid twitches.
posted by skye.dancer at 10:48 AM on June 23, 2013

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