What is blepharospasm?
Blepharospasm is a spasm or abnormal blinking of the eyelid, and it is involuntary.
What are the symptoms of blepharospasm?
Initial symptoms may appear as increased blinking and irritation in the eyes. As they progress, affected individuals can experience fatigue, light sensitivity, and emotional tension. Eventually, there will be the characteristic spasms of the condition. Facial spasms may be another symptom.
What causes blepharospasm?
Medical professionals know that something abnormal exists within the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that controls muscles, but they are unsure as to what exactly. In very rare cases, there is a hereditary component.
How is blepharospasm diagnosed?
The first step is a clinical evaluation, which is followed by a physical and neurological exam and electrodiagnosis. It can be a difficult condition to diagnose.
What are the treatments for blepharospasm?
There are currently no cures for blepharospasm, but there are treatments that can reduce the frequency and severity of the spasms. Treatment options include Botox, surgery, and medications, although medication often produces unexpected side effects. Alternative options are acupuncture, nutritional therapy, biofeedback, and chiropractics.