What is Blepharospasm;

Blepharospasm is a forceful, uncontrolled closure of the eyelids. It often affects both eyes, but can affect only one. As the situation worsens, the blinking or winking occurs more often. The eyelids can be closed for longer than a normal blinking reflex, which may cause vision problems.

Sometimes the condition is called idiopathic blepharospasm.

Blepharospasm is quite different from the mild spasms of the lid that sometimes occur with stress,use of caffeine or insufficient sleep and do not affect vision.

The exact cause of blepharospasm is not known. Most experts believe that the basal ganglion in the brain does not work normally. Basal ganglion helps coordinate muscle movement. Also, the nerves in or near this area of the brain may not work normally.

Medications, such as those used to treat Parkinson’s disease, can cause this problem. Other factors may play a role in this situation, such as:

  • stress or fatigue
  • dry eyes

The symptoms are:

  • winking, blinking or squinting when you can’t control it
  • you find it difficult to keep your eyes open
  • sensitivity to light

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your eyes.

The main forms of treatment are:
injection of a drug (Botox)
medicines taken orally
stress management

Very small amounts of botulin toxin A (Botox), prepared by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum (Botox), can be injected into the muscle that closes the eyelids. Botox stops muscle spasms for several months. These Botox injections should be repeated approximately every 3 months.
Some medicines cause spasms. Stopping these medicines or reducing their dosage can stop the spasms.

Finally, stress management and coping techniques may help reduce the spasms and help you feel more comfortable at social events.
Bright light can aggravate spasms, so the use of dark glasses can reduce certain spasms. Also, dark glasses make the problem less noticeable to others.

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