Blepharospasm

What is blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm is a neurological condition where the eyelid muscles contract and spasm involuntarily. It is a particular type of dystonia, a type of movement disorder characterised by sustained and uncoordinated muscle contractions.

Blepharospasm often comences gradually with occasional eye blinking, winking or squinting. Difficulty keeping the eyes open and light sensitivity are also frequently seen. As blepharospasm progresses, these spasms may get stonger, and the eyelids remain closed for long periods of time.

Blepharospasm is more common in women in middle-age and older. It is typically worse when the individual is stressed.

How is blepharospasm treated?

The most common and effective treatment is usually botulinum toxin (Botox) injections, which stop the muscles from spasming. Other treatment options include medications, stress management and surgery.

What is the prognosis of blepharospasm?

Most patients obtain a significant benefit from Botox injections.