What is Blepharospasm?
Blepharospasm is a type of focal dystonia in Movement disorders.
This is characterized by excessive contraction of Orbicularis oculi muscle (muscle around the eye which controls the blink and eye closure),
leading to excessive blinks / prolonged contraction.
In severe cases it can lead to functional blindness (Inability to see due to excessive eye closure)
How common is Blepharospasm?
Blepharospasm is increasingly being recognized as cause of disability.
It affects about 32/100,000 people.
It typically starts in 5th or 6th decade of life and much more common in women (3:1)
Why does Blepharospasm occur?
There has been no clear clues on imaging of the brain to indicate the cause.
It has been attributed to abnormal neuronal activity and transmission for this abnormality.
Is any type of investigation required for diagnosing the disorders?
Blepharospasm is a clinical diagnosis which does not require any specific investigation.
In some suspected cases with other associated features, blood tests or imaging of the brain(MRI) could be required
What are the treatment options for Blepharospasm?
Currently Botulinum injections (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and other brands)are the preferred and commonly used first line of treatment.
Commonly used medications include Carbamazepine, clonazepam, gabapentin, and baclofen.
Is Botulinum (Botox) effective and safe treatment for Blepharospasm?
Botulinum injections (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and other brands) is a safe and effective treatment in existing literature.
In various published literature, it has been well documented to have excellent subjective and objective improvement.
Most of the patients have the benefit for prolonged periods.
Most of the patients who receive botulinum injections do not have any adverse effects, but some may develop effects such as ptosis, lid edema, diplopia, ecchymosis.
All these symptoms are transient and complete reversible.