Blepharospasm: What is it?
Symptoms You May Experience:
Examination: What Your Eye Doctor Will Look For:
What You Can Do:
When To Call Your M.D.:
Prognosis: Will I See Better?
Blepharospasm is a condition in which the muscles in the eyelids and around the eyes twitch uncontrollably. Both eyes are typically affected together, and the spasms usually begin as mild twitches and can progress to forceful blinking. The cause of blepharospasm is unkown. Older patients tend to be affected most often, and women are slightly more prone to the disorder than men. Severe blepharospasm can limit a person's ability to read, drive, or perform other daily activities.
You may notice frequent, repeated twitching of your eyelids or forceful blinking of both eyes that you cannot control.
Your eye doctor will watch your eyelid movements to determine if blepharospasm is present. He or she will also look for any other causes of excessive blinking, such as dry eye syndrome.
There is no proven way to avoid the development of blepharospasm. If blepharospasm is causing your eyes to feel irritated, artificial tear drops, lubricating ointment, or both can help.
If you notice the symptoms of blepharospasm, call your ophthalmologist. Although blepharospasm itself is not dangerous, treating the disorder can make you much more comfortable.
The main treatment of blepharospasm is an injection of Botox into the muscles in the eyelids and around the eyes to paralyze them. The toxin will begin working within 2-3 days, and its effects typically last for about 3-4 months, after which the spasms usually reoccur and the botulinum toxin can be injected again. If Botox is not effective and the blepharospasm is severe, surgery can be considered. Your ophthalmologist will remove some of the surrounding eye muscles to control the blepharospasm permanently.
While blepharospasm is a long standing disorder, most cases can be treated successfully with botulinum toxin injections. Surgery to remove the muscles, which is rarely needed, is also often successful in reducing the spasms.
Areas Where Botox Is Injected To Relieve Blepharospasm.
Copyright 2006-2009 Vision Health