While kratom is an effective natural remedy for many conditions and ailments such as anxiety, chronic pain or insomnia, it can have unpleasant side effects, especially when taken in high doses. One of the most common side effects are the so-called “kratom eye wobbles” or “kratom eye wiggles”. Though very annoying, you can avoid this vision problem by taking some simple precautions.
What are kratom eye wobbles?
“Eye wobbles” is the name commonly given to a condition called nystagmus. When consuming kratom (especially at high doses) the muscles responsible for controlling the eyes can begin twitching involuntarily. This will make your eyes “skip” from one place to another. If this happens to you, you are experiencing kratom eye wobbles.
Eye wobbles are a characteristic side effect of kratom. Opiates rarely cause this condition –though very high doses of certain prescription painkillers and methadone can also cause vision and focusing issues.
Kratom eye wobbles will not allow you to focus properly. Therefore, you will find that tasks requiring focussing your vision are now very difficult to perform. Even simple, easy usual activities such as driving, reading or writing.
But kratom eye wobbles are not just annoying. They can also provoke dizziness, vertigo or motion sickness with feelings of nausea.
Eye Wobbles Effects: Headaches and Migraines
Due to the strain on the eyes caused by kratom eye wobbles, many people will also experience a headache, or “eye ache”. According to some users, you can avoid headaches by taking an over the counter pain reliever as soon as the wiggles begin.
But eye wobbles can also cause one of the worst kratom side effects: migraines. So, if you are suffering kratom migraines and wobbles, the latter may be responsible for the former.
How to Prevent Eye Wobbles
Kratom eye wobbles are often associated with an extremely high dosage of kratom. According to anecdotal evidence, you can avoid eye wiggles by using a smaller dosage. While the level of kratom tolerance will vary among individuals, it is commonly accepted that 5 grams or less will reduce the chance of developing eye wobbles.
Some kratom consumers also find it useful to opt for a different kratom variety. There are certain kratom types –in particular, Bali, but also Indo and Borneo strains– which seem to be more associated with eye wiggles. Therefore, try a different variety can help you to prevent this uncomfortable side effects.
This is a list of kratom varieties with a risk of provoking eye wobbles:
- Bali Kratom (High)
- Indo Kratom (Moderate)
- Maeng Da Kratom (Moderate)
- Thai Kratom (Low)
- Borneo Kratom (Very Low)
Many kratom users report that drinking kratom tea is also a way to prevent eye wobbles. The reason for this may lie in the fact that hot or boiling water does not extract fat soluble alkaloids, and these alkaloids might be the responsible for kratom induced nystagmus. Even though this is only speculation, users who are more prompted to suffer this disturbance may want to switch to kratom tea instead of other methods of intake, such as kratom capsules.
Despite the lack of formal research on the topic, it is widely believed that kratom eye wobbles are linked to three specific alkaloids: speciogynine, paynatheine, and rhynchophylline. Speciogynine and paynatheine are muscle relaxants, which could mean that the phenomena happen because of a poor muscle control.
How to Stop Kratom Eye Wobbles
What happens if you are experiencing kratom eye wobbles? How can you stop them? Bad news: kratom eye wobbles are incurable. Other than waiting for the eye wiggles to dissipate when your body has disposed of kratom, there isn’t much more to do. Remaining awake will allow kratom to be processed faster. While if you are asleep your metabolism will slow and kratom active elements will remain longer in your system and the wobbles will also last longer.
Some users claim that closing your eyes for a while can help you mitigate the disturbance, so you can try that.
Another suggestion is to take activated charcoal. Activated charcoal can absorb kratom’s alkaloids before your body does. Thus, kratom side effects could be mitigated or even avoided. However, activated charcoal has two major disadvantages:
- when the charcoal absorbs the alkaloids you will also lose kratom’s properties.
- the second is that activated charcoal is only effective when it comes into direct contact with your stomach contents.
Given that our stomach empties in 2 hours (less in case of liquids) you will need to take the charcoal within 2 hours after ingesting kratom. Or one hour if you have taken kratom tea since liquids are processed much faster. If eye wobbles begin after those 2 hours, taking charcoal will be useless, as kratom has already moved from the stomach into the intestinal tract. Since kratom is no longer in the stomach, charcoal will not be able to reach it and, therefore, it will not extract its alkaloids. So, charcoal will not be effective after 2 hours (and very limited after the first hour).