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What is it?

Blepharospasm is a type of dystonia, a movement disorder with involuntary muscle spasms. This affects the muscles of the eyelids that may cause the eye to completely shut. Vision may become impaired if the muscle contractions become too extreme where eyelids remain closed.

 

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What is it caused by?

There is no known cause for blepharospasm, but the spasms may be trigger by alcohol intake, bright lights, excessive caffeine consumption, fatigue, irritation of the inner eyelid or eye surface, smoking, stress, or wind/air pollution.

 

 

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms include frequent blinking and irritation of the eyes. Dry eye is also another common symptom. As the condition progresses and symptoms become more frequent facial spasms may develop.

 

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Blepharospasm are diagnosed by a clinical evaluation normally by a neurologist or ophthalmologist. Forms of treatment include oral medication and botulinum toxin injection. A combination approach is the best form of treatment. Botox injections help to weaken the muscles responsible for closing the eyes. This allows patients the ability to have more control with eye movements as a whole. Electromyographic (EMG) guidance can be used to perform the injection. An injectable electrode attached to the EMG machine allows the muscle to be identified and precisely inject the Botox into the muscle.

 

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