Blepharospasm is a form of focal dystonia, or involuntary muscle contraction that affects the eyelids. Although it does not affect vision or mental processes, blepharospasm causes the eyelids to close with each spasm. This results in symptoms such as frequent blinking, eye twitching, and eye irritation. In some cases, blepharospasm can also cause dry eye, as well as involuntary muscle contractions in the jaw, lips, and tongue.
Botox has been used since 1989 to treat eyelid muscle spasms and the resulting symptoms associated with blepharospasm. Botox is a neurotoxin derived from the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Neurotoxins interrupt the constant signals being sent through the nerves into the muscles, which reduces or eliminates the muscle’s ability to spasm. Ultimately, this helps to reduce the occurrence and severity of symptoms associated with blepharospasm.
Did You Know?
Out of all the treatments available for blepharospasm, Botox is considered to be the most effective. According to a study conducted on the long term effects of Botox for blepharospasm treatment, 92% of patients reported sustained benefits at the 2 year mark.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for treating blepharospasm with Botox?
You may be a candidate for treating blepharospasm with Botox if you have been diagnosed with the disorder and regularly experience symptoms. However, Botox may not be an ideal treatment for everyone, and people with additional nerve or muscle conditions, breathing-related problems, or who are on certain medications may be at an increased risk for side effects. Therefore, you will need to schedule a consultation at Premier Neurology to determine if you are an ideal candidate.
What can I expect when having blepharospasm treated with Botox?
All Botox injections are performed in our office with a fine needle. When having blepharospasm treated with Botox, you can expect to receive multiple injections around your eyelid and brow. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes and the injections usually last around three months. After a three month period, the results usually fade and the injections are repeated as needed.
What can I expect after having a Botox injection?
After your Botox injection, you will be able to return to your usual activities. It is important that you do not rub around the injection sites to prevent the toxin from spreading. In most cases, you can expect to notice results as soon as the next day all the way up to two weeks after the injections. If you don’t notice results within two weeks, this can mean a different dosage or injection site is needed.
Side effects associated with Botox are temporary and may or may not occur. The most common side effects of Botox injections for blepharospasm are pain, swelling, and bruising around the injection sites, as well as dry eye. Other possible side effects can include drooping under the eyelids and double vision.