Harvard Men's Health Watch

Why does my eyelid twitch?

Q. I have started to notice a constant twitching under my right eyelid. It appears during the day and often lasts for hours. I was told not to be concerned, but is it possible to fix this problem?

A. Involuntary eyelid twitching, often in the lower lid, is common and referred to as eyelid myokymia. These tiny contractions of the muscle are more noticeable because of the small size of the muscle and its location near the eye. There is no serious underlying problem in most cases. The most common things that trigger eyelid twitching are stress, caffeine, and lack of sleep. Reducing those triggers often eliminates the twitching.

Some situations may need medical evaluation. Involuntary closing of the eye, known as blepharospasm, may progress to a more persistent and serious disorder. Twitching that involves both the eye and the lower face together may indicate a neurologic condition such as multiple sclerosis. In truly harmless eyelid twitching, the symptom is limited to the eyelid and does not get worse. If you are concerned, it is best to ask your doctor to look at the eye and review the possible causes.

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