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  Blepharospasm

Blepharospasm is an abnormal tic, spasm, or twitch of the eyelid. It is sometimes referred to as Benign Essential Blepharospasm. Focal dystonia is another phrase for this condition, which involves a involuntary muscle contraction around the eyes. The cause can be fatigue, irritant or caffeine. The symptoms can last for a few days, but commonly disappear without treatment. Severe cases can be chronic.

Blepharospasm Eye diseases
Blepharospasm


Symptoms

Besides the tic, symptoms of blepharospasm are eye dryness, excessive blinking, twitching, sensitivity to the sun and bright lights. Blepharospasm occurs spontaneously with no indicators. Patients who experience blepharospasm usually have a history of dry eyes and photo sensitivity. Other syndromes such as Meige’s syndrome have been associated wity blepharospasm. Drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease have also been known to cause blepharospasm. Rarely, blepharospasms can be caused by concussions.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made from observation. Blepharospasm is easily diagnosed.

Treatment

Treatment for blepharospasm can involve medication, Botulin toxin injections, surgery, dark glasses and stress management. Drug therapy is usually unpredictable and does not last long. Determining an effective regimen requires persistence and patience.

Good results have been reported with Botulinum Toxin injections, also known as Botox. The toxin paralyzes the muscles, when injected in tiny amounts. It is safe and effective and can last for several months. It is not a permanent cure and would require periodic checkups. Botox is the current treatment of choice for chronic blepharospasm. Side effects can be a drooping eyelid, double vision or dryness of the eye. The side effects do wear off after a certain period of time.

Surgery has been used to treat blepharospasm, but is not the typical approach. Dark glasses are used to hide the twitch, when it is particularly noticeable and the individual is self conscious.

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