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28th Sep 2012

Ask The GloHealth Doctor – Your Health Questions Answered

Have you got a health concern on your mind? Every week we'll be tackling the health concerns of readers with the help of our GloHealth Doctor, Doctor Conor Fitzgerald.

Have you got a health concern you’d like some advice on? We’ve got our GloHealth Doctor, Dr. Conor Fitzgerald, on hand every week to answer your questions.* This week he’s tackling twitching eyes and tonsilitis…

“I sometimes get a throbbing sensation under my right eyelid. It’s like a little pulse. I have no idea why it happens, and it’s not sore – but it is annoying and causes some weird eye-twitches, which can be quite embarrassing. Is this something I should be worried about?” 

Thanks for your question. Eye twitching can be annoying, but in most people it will tend to come and go. Anyone can have eye twitching without an identifiable cause, although it may be associated with or prolonged by the following: 

alcohol, caffeine, fatigue , lack of sleep, irritation of the inner eyelid or eye surface, smoking, stress or physical exertion. 

In the vast majority of cases unilateral ( affecting one eye only) twitching is unlikely to be anything to be worried about, but generally you should see a doctor for a check up if you have any of the following:

the eye closes completely with each twitch, 

the symptoms persist for over three weeks, 

twitching occurs in other parts of your face, 

your eye is red, swollen, has discharge, 

or if there is drooping of your eyelid. 


“Hi Doctor. As soon as I could feel the weather changing this week I got a sore throat and swollen tonsils. It happens every year, like clockwork, and it gets to the point where I can’t really eat or speak. It usually lasts a week or so, but I’m 32 now and really sick of going through this – should I look at getting my tonsils out or is this an extreme decision?” 

September is usually the month when GP surgery waiting rooms start to fill up with patients suffering from sore throats. The majority of sore throats and episodes of tonsillitis are viral in nature, and will settle eventually with rest, fluids and painkillers. Occasionally infected tonsils do require antibiotics as part of the treatment. Your question related to whether or not you should have a tonsillectomy ( surgical removal of your tonsils). The general advice is that a patient who is having four or more episodes of tonsillitis in one year, and/or the sore throat is having a significant impact on the patient’s life, could consider having a tonsillectomy. If you are having less than this an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) surgeon will tend to advise the measures discussed above. It is important to remember that a tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure and that there are associated risks and recovery periods, as there are with any surgery. 


f you’ve got a question you want to put to our GloHealth Doctor, just drop us a mail to [email protected] – all emails will be treated in the strictest confidence.

*If you have ongoing concerns about your symptoms, please contact your GP

Dr. Conor Fitzgerald, GloHealth Medical Council


Dr. Conor Fitzgerald studied medicine at UCD, worked in Naas General Hospital and also in the Adelaide & Meath hospital, incorporating the National Childrens’ Hospital, (AMNCH) Tallaght. He trained on the Mid Leinster GP Training Scheme and worked as a GP in Wicklow. Dr. Fitzgerald is currently working in GP practice in Lucan, Co.Dublin.