A very common condition our patients present with is a twitching eye. Patients will often note that their eye periodically “twitches”, “vibrates” or “quivers”, uncontrollably. Clinically, this condition is called eyelid myokymia. Though these unexpected quivers can be annoying, they are not painful.
What causes eyelid myokymia? Eyelid myokymia is the result of repetitive bursts of electrical stimuli to a portion the eyelid muscle. Though the twitching seems very apparent to the person experiencing this phenomenon, usually it is difficult for an observer to notice an episode without being within a three-foot distance, and looking at the affected area.
What causes eyelid myokymia? The twitching of the lids will come in temporary episodes. They are brought on typically by stressors such as emotional or physical fatigue, illness, or events which alter our nervous system such as caffeine, smoking, energy-boosting supplements or certain medications. A typical episode will last one to ten minutes and can occur many times through out a day lasting weeks to months. Usually when the body returns to normal (less stress), the twitching will stop.
Should I be concerned? Eyelid myokymia is considered benign, which means it is not of harmful effect. If the twitching involves other muscles within the face the condition should be further investigated.