Blepharospasm and Hemifacial Spasm

Benign essential blepharospasm, or simply blepharospasm, is a neurological condition that causes frequent blinking and contractions of the eyelids and upper face. While the exact cause of blepharospasm is unknown, this condition is closely associated with dry eye and eyelid inflammation and may be increased with stress.

Hemifacial spasm, a similar condition, involves involuntary contractions and movement of the facial muscles on one side of the face and can be caused by irritation of the facial nerve.

What are the symptoms of blepharospasm?

The symptoms of blepharospasm include frequent or excessive blinking of both the left and right eyes. These forcible contractions can occur intermittently and may be progressive. Many patients with blepharospasm also report episodes of inability to open the eyelids during forceful closure. These symptoms often interfere with normal daily activities such as reading and driving. As blepharospasm is closely linked with dry eye disease, sufferers may also report a feeling of eye dryness, irritation and light sensitivity. Some severe cases involve associated facial grimacing or abnormal head and neck movements.

What are the symptoms of hemifacial spasm?

The symptoms of hemifacial spasm include constant and bothersome contractions of the muscles on one side of the face. These symptoms include spasm of the muscle that encircles the eye, the orbicularis oculi, and may affect the vision, making activities such as driving more dangerous. These facial spasms may even be present when the sufferer is sleeping.

How are blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm treated?

The doctors at Eyesthetica use Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) and similar medications to improve the symptoms of blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. Ophthalmologists were the pioneer users of Botox for eye-related diseases and have used it for more than two decades for treatment of blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, and strabismus.

Treatment with Botox and similar medications is done in the office on an outpatient basis. The doctors at Eyesthetica take great care in making the treatment process as comfortable as possible with options of pre-treatment numbing with ice or topical ointment. After treatment, patients are free to return to their normal workday or other activities without restriction. Most patients find that the effects from treatment last for up to 3-4 months before needing another visit to our office.

What can I expect after treatment of blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm?

After treatment of blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm, most patients begin to notice relief from their symptoms within the first 3 to 5 days. The full effect of treatment is seen within the first 2 to 3 weeks. The doctors at Eyesthetica tailor the timing of follow-up visits to ensure that our patients experience maximal and symptom-free relief between treatments.

Eyesthetica is one of the most experienced practices in the use of Botox and similar medications with over two decades of treatment history. Treatment of blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm is usually covered by insurance.

Do you have a frequent blinking or bothersome spasms of your eyelids or face? Schedule an appointment with one of our skilled doctors for an evaluation and to learn more.

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