Blepharospasm is characterized by excessive eye blinking, with occasional spasms of the muscles around the eyes. Blinking and spasms can be worsened by a number of things, such as bright lights, reading, or stress. In some cases, muscles around the mouth become affected too, with lip puckering, grimacing, or other lip movements. For most cases, the cause is unknown, but experts believe many come from a combination of inheritance and some exposure.
Who gets blepharospasm ?
People of all ages and all races all over the world get blepharospasm. It most commonly begins in middle age, between 40-65 years old. In rare cases, it may begin in children or older adults. People of both sexes get blepharospasm, but it is more common in women.
What causes blepharospasm ?
In most cases, the cause of blepharospasm is unknown.
How is blepharospasm diagnosed ?
The diagnosis of blepharospasm depends on recognition of its characteristic features by an expert, such as a neurologist or ophthalmologist. There are no medical tests for proving the diagnosis, but some tests may be conducted to rule out other possible problems. These may include tests for allergies or dry eyes or scans of the brain.
Are there treatments for blepharospasm ?
The most useful treatments for blepharospasm involve quieting the overactive muscles by injecting them with a muscle relaxer. The most commonly used medications are the botulinum toxins. Patients also take pills.