Blepharospasm causes involuntary contractions of the muscles of the eyelids. The disorder can also lead to uncontrollable blinking and in some cases sufferers may be unable to open their eyes, which reduces their ability to carry out everyday activities. Learn more about the condition, its diagnosis and the different treatment options available.
The following treatments are available to ease or control the symptoms:
- Botulinum toxin Type A injections: this neurotoxin is the primary most effective form of treatment. Botulinum toxin stops the nerve impulse at the neuromuscular junction and reduces the uncontrollable muscular contractions of the eyelids. Each injection lasts for approximately 3 months.
- Drug therapies: a number of drugs have benefits for blepharospasm:
- muscle relaxants to relax the muscle and alleviate cramp,
- cholinolytics to reduce the effects of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system,
- benzodiazepines to help reduce anxiety and alleviate painful spasms.
- Surgery: may be recommended for the most severe forms of blepharospasm when botulinum toxin treatments fail. On the recommendation of a specialist ophthalmologist, a myectomy is performed to resect the orbicularis oculi muscles and possibly the forehead muscles, the corrugator supercilii muscles (the muscles along the brow) or the muscles between the eyebrows.
A rare disease
Age 50 to 60
Onset of the disease
are more likely to be affected than men