Posted by: Anneke | 2006/11/01

Worrying headache

Dear Sir,

I am a Migraine sufferer and over the years i have adjusted my diet and habits to ease the symptoms and headaches.

Never the less, over the passed 4 weeks i am experiencing something that is worrying me. You know that most people sometimes get a nerve that jumps in either the left or right eye and normally supesticious people will say if the left eye jumps its bad and if the right eye jumps its good. Whatever i am trying to express what i am experiencing here.

Over the passed four weeks i have a similar sensation above my left eyebrow. It started above the eyebrow but it seems to be getting worse and every time the nerve pulls it is as if it pulls down on the eyelid and it is now becoming very uncomfortable. Apart from that, i am experiencing terrible tension pain only on the left side of my head. My body tells me that the two symptoms are going hand in hand and that the one is leading to the other.

I am 46 now and very scared of the possibilty of getting a stroke as i do have high blood cholesterol. Must i rather see the doctor a.s.a.p?

The pulling of the nerve onto the eye is definitely getting worse and the "tension pain" as well.

Thanking you


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Anneke,

The jumping sensation that you are experiencing is nothing to be concerned about. It is not a nerve, but rather it is caused by small muscles that are twitching. This usually occurs in people who have increased muscle tension. It is interesting that you have migraine, because muscle tension also plays an important role in migraine. So I am certain that you are correct in saying that your symptoms are going hand in hand.

If you do have a muscle tension problem, then it can be treated in most people without the use of medication, but first you have to have a proper diagnosis to be certain there are no other factors playing a part. This is especially important if the pain on the left side of the face is of recent onset. The only way to determine for certain what is causing the pain and the twitching is to have what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the pain process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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