What is blepharospasm?
Blepharospasm is blinking or uncontrolled contraction of the eyelid, caused by muscle spasms around the eye. Symptoms can range from mild and not disabling to quite severe in some cases.
What are the symptoms of blepharospasm?
If you have blepharospasm, at the beginning, you may notice an increase in uncontrolled blinking and blinking when you are tired, anxious, stressed physically and emotionally, or when exposed to bright light or sunlight. Over time, it turns worse. You may feel you do not control the eyelids and you need to take much effort to keep them open. Blepharospasm could be severe enough that you tend to close the eyelids for several hours each time it occurs.
What are the possible causes of blepharospasm and who is at risk?
Blepharospasm affects women more than men and could be transmitted from parents to children. A condition called dry eye can also put you at risk for blepharospasm.
Blepharospasm may be a symptom of certain neurological disorders such as Tourette syndrome or Parkinson’s syndrome.
Be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking. Some medications can cause or worsen blepharospasm.
How is blepharospasm diagnosed?
If you or your doctor think you have blepharospasm, your doctor may recommend that you consult a specialist. The specialist will ask about your symptoms and perform a neurological exam.
What is the treatment for blepharospasm?
There is no cure for blepharospasm, but there are several treatments that can help relieve symptoms. There are medicines to be taken internally. Your doctor will tell you which medication is right for you.
Your doctor will discuss surgery too. During surgery (called myectomy), your doctor will remove some muscles and nerves of the eyelids.