WHAT IS BLEPHAROSPASM?
Blepharospasm is the involuntary, persistent and forced closing of the eyelids.
Excessive blinking or eye irritation may be the initial symptoms of blepharospasm, which usually begins gradually and under certain conditions, such as bright light, emotional tension or fatigue.
With the progression of the disease, eyelids involuntary closing (spasm) can become more frequent and intense, making the patient “functionally blind”.
The eyelids, during a single episode, may remain forcibly closed for several hours.
Blepharospasm is thought to be caused by abnormal functioning of the basal ganglia, nerve structures located at the base of the brain, although it is not yet clear what dysfunction takes place in these structures (benign essential blepharospasm). It can lead to mouth and / or jaw dystonic forms (oromandibular dystonia, Meige syndrome).
CAN I UNDERGO SURGERY?
Patients turn to an oculoplastic surgeon in the following cases:
- They have frequent, uncontrollable and involuntary contractions.
- They experience frustration and embarrassment in social relationships.
- They have difficulty performing routine daily activities during spastic attacks.
WHAT DOES THE BLEPHAROSPASM TREATMENT CONSIST OF?
The pharmacological treatment of focal dystonias uses medicinal products with general and local action. The local medical treatment consists of an injection of botulinum toxin, which due to its efficacy and relative safety of use, is the treatment of first choice in focal dystonias.
- The treatment lasts about ten minutes and doesn’t require anaesthesia.
- With a quick and painless puncture, the medicine is injected into the muscles of the treated area, where it blocks the impulses to the tissues.
- The abnormal muscle activity responsible for the spasm is reduced, and the treated area is relaxed and stretched.
- The effect increases in the first few days, and it reaches its maximum in the first two weeks.
- The effects of the treatment last for about 4-6 months.
- It is recommended to repeat treatment to maintain the benefits.
The most effective surgical treatment is the removal of the muscles responsible for eyelid closure (orbicularis muscle myectomy).
WHAT CAN I EXPECT? WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF THE BLEPHAROSPASM TREATMENT?
- The responses to treatment vary from patient to patient in view of the severity and refractoriness of the clinical picture.
- The therapy can take advantage of the combination of medical / surgical treatment – attributable to the surgeon oculoplastico – associated with oral medicines and relaxation techniques – prerogative of the neurologist.
- The treatment attenuates the frequency and severity of spasms, allowing the patient to return to his relational life and ordinary activities.
Blepharospasm – Pre-surgery video
Blepharospasm – Post-surgery video
All the photographs and videos have been made by Dr. Carlo Graziani with authorisation by the very same patiences. It is forbidden to copy or reproduce in any form and for any other use all the contents found on the our web site. All rights are reserved. Dr. Carlo Graziani 2020.