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Ask Dr. Gott 1/7
Twitchy eyelids could be a nerve problem
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 50-year-old female who is in excellent health. For the past three months or so, my left eyelid has been twitching quite frequently throughout the day. I have noticed it pulls down a little whenever I smile, laugh, yawn or open my mouth widely. Maybe unrelated, but about two months ago while driving I had a feeling like I was blacking out although I have never blacked out before. It lasted maybe five seconds and luckily I was driving about 30 mph with no traffic. I pulled off the road, and the feeling passed. It has not happened since. I do not take any medications because I have no health issues. What's your initial diagnosis? I hope it was not a stroke!
    DEAR READER: Perhaps it was not a stroke, but you certainly are having symptoms that need to be addressed. For obvious reasons, I am unable to make an initial diagnosis. From your brief letter, however, it appears you may have a problem with your facial nerves. See your primary care physician, who can examine and test you or refer you to a neurologist for further evaluation. I am sorry I can't help you. Good luck and let me know how this turns out.
    Because of your concerns on the topic, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Stroke."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have been diagnosed with lymphedema in my right leg. Doctors say that it is caused by scar tissue from a previous surgery. When I was in my 20s, I was told I had a hernia in my right groin area, and it was surgically corrected. The lymphedema started about 10 years ago, when I was 45. It's progressed to the point where it now, at times, seeps clear fluid. There are days when it is impossible for me to put on pants or shoes. I've been through stockings, massage, diuretics and am now using a pressure machine with a boot that I wear for an hour in the morning and another hour at night. These methods only work for up to two hours after I am up on my feet.
    I've been told by two doctors and a surgeon that nothing can be done, and that I will just have to live with the condition because any surgery they would do would only create more scar tissue and could make matters worse — if that's at all possible.
    DEAR READER: You need expert advice and treatment for an affliction that is affecting your quality of life. Put yourself under the care of a lymphedema specialist. For help in searching for a specialist, visit the National Lymphedema Network's Web site at, or call their information line at 800-541-3259. This organization is comprised of health care professionals and is striving for research and better treatment options. Despite the fact that your condition is chronic and advanced, I believe you can be helped.
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