Illinois Eye Center

Blepharospasm

What is Blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm (also called benign essential blepharospasm) is blinking or other eyelid movements, like twitching, that you can’t control.

Eyelid twitching usually goes away on its own. But people with benign essential blepharospasm can develop severe and chronic (long-term) eyelid twitching.

What are the symptoms of Blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm usually starts with small eyelid twitches that happen every once in a while. Over time, the twitching may happen more often and cause your eyes to close completely. That can make it hard to do everyday things, like reading or driving.

Some people also have facial twitches (twitches in other parts of the face).

What causes Blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm happens when the part of the brain that controls your eyelid muscles stops working correctly. Sometimes blepharospasm runs in families, and women ages 40 to 60 are more likely to develop it. But in most cases, doctors aren’t sure what causes it.

Source: National Eye Institute

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Treatment Options for Blepharospasm

You may only know BOTOX® as a wrinkle treatment, but botulinum toxin type A was used to treat medical problems, such as Blepharospasm (abnormal spasms of the eyelid), years before it was used for cosmetic purposes.

It is a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which temporarily blocks the action of muscles.

Botulinum toxin is an approved treatment for Blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm and facial wrinkles. Long-term follow-up studies have shown it to be a very safe and effective treatment with up to 90 percent of patients obtaining almost complete relief of their Blepharospasm.

It is used to treat Blepharospasm. Blepharospasm refers to eyelid muscles around the eye that close involuntarily. This may cause loss of vision, especially while reading, headaches and eyebrow strain. The early symptoms of blepharospasm include increased blink rate, eyelid spasms, eye irritation, midfacial or lower facial spasm, blow spasm and eyelid tic. Injection of tiny doses of botulinum toxin at several sites above and below the eyes can significantly relieve these symptoms.

Benefits begin in about a week after injection and last for an average of three to four months.

Source: Allergan