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Have you ever had an annoying eyelid twitch? Episodes of eye twitching (really, it’s the eyelid that twitches) are common. These twitches generally are harmless and are not a sign of an eye problem or medical condition.

Usually only the bottom lid of one eye is involved, but the top eyelid also can twitch. Most eye twitches come and go, but some can last for days or even weeks.

Though no one knows for sure why they happen, suspected causes of eyelid twitches include:

Stress. Our bodies react to stress in different ways, and eyelid twitching can be one sign of stress.

Fatigue. A lack of sleep, whether because of stress or some other reason, might trigger lid twitches.

Eye strain. Vision-related stress can occur if you need glasses or a change to your eyeglasses prescription. Your eyes might be working too hard, triggering eyelid twitching.

Computer use. Eye strain and eye fatigue from computer use also can cause eye twitching. Sometimes special computer glasses can help. Caffeine and alcohol. Too much caffeine and/or alcohol can trigger eyelid twitching. Dry eyes. Some eye twitches might be caused by dry eyes. If your eyes feel dry, try using artificial tears to stop the twitching.

If you have a particularly annoying and persistent eyelid twitch, you might want to try placing a cold compress on your closed eye for a minute or two. In most cases, eyelid twitches stop on their own without any treatment, but if you have a twitch that persists or worsens over time, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.