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Conditions

Blepharospasm

Excessive blinking is also known as blepharospasm

Blepharospasm (also known as Benign essential blepharospasm) is an abnormal, involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids, which typically affects people between the ages of 50 and 70. It can cause uncontrollable blinking and closure of the eyelids. And in extreme cases, someone with blepharospasm may be unable to prevent their eyes from clamping shut.

The condition is associated with an abnormal function of the basal ganglion, which sounds like a race of aliens that Dr Who might one day encounter, but is actually a small area deep within the brain, responsible for controlling the movement of muscles. No cure has yet been found, although Botox (Botulinum toxin) injections into the eyelids is currently the treatment of choice. Understandably, this can be uncomfortable, but it’s a process that needs to be repeated every three months or so. Medical drug therapy or a surgical procedure to remove some of the muscles and nerves of the eyelids, known as a myectomy, are other possible treatment options.

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I work between heartbeats while looking through a powerful microscope. I have regular Botox injections in my eyelids in order to keep my eyes perfectly still and to avoid any distraction by eye movement. The strain of working in such a manner has caused blephoraspasm in one eye. The injections are not painful at all and the result is excellent. After about 5 months it wears off and I need more injections.





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I think i have this but not been diagnosed yet, its difficult to get through the day as it makes my eyes so tired and sore, its making my face twitch too now including nose wrinkling, does anyone else get this? Thank you Jan





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I recommend that everyone on this forum go to the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Foundation online bulletin board for the most up-to-date information on this condition and treatment. The BEB also sends out a newsletter with news about research. Blepharospasm is a dystonia, or movement disorder, so the Dystonia Foundation also has information about it. If your current treatment is not helping you sufficiently, either tell your doctor or find another one. While Blepharospasm is not curable (yet), it is treatable. It takes a full vial of medical Botox and numerous injections to calm my spasms, but a competent doctor will discover what you need for relief. Good luck, all!





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I've had this since I was 22 and I'm 35 now and I finally found a doctor who could tell me what this conduction is called. It mess with my self-esteem and I'm laughed at and talked about on a daily basis. At first it started off as just a small wink of my eye and today it's a constant state of my life. Very embarrassing and uncomfortable at times.





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Michael, blepharospasm can be controlled by medical Botox injections into the muscles that spasm. I've had this treatment for 25 years and it makes the difference between not being able to function and a normal life. These days, a numbing cream is used before you get the shots so that you barely feel them, so don't worry about potential discomfort. Make an appointment with a neurologist first, but many ophthalmologists have been trained to treat with these injections. You don't have to suffer. Best wishes. J.

I have had blephaspasm for about 3 years. the hospital have on four occasions given me botox injections ranging from 10 to 45 units only the 45 worked but closed my eye shut which gradually opened over the next month, but apparantly im in the 5 per cent that does not work. luckilly im in my mid seventies and retired. so do not have to go out much.





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I have suffered with this for 8 years, was diagnosed 4 years ago and began Botox injections. They help with the tension headaches caused by trying not to blink but haven't cured it. It is an awful condition, it has wiped my confidence because I think everyone is wondering what's wrong with me! I used to be a confident, fun loving person but I'm slowly turning into a social hermit. i hate speaking to people which is really impacting on my job as a headteacher. Has anxiety medication helped anyone?





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I have struggled with Hemi facial spasm/Blepharospasm over the past 2 years in addition to Cervical Dystonia over about 8 years. Like you, Olivia, it has taken me from an outgoing, risk taking, fun-lover, to a cranky, oversensitive social hermit. It has completely changed me and sucked out a lot of my zest for life. It's all I can do to take it to work and back these days - esp. when the Botox wears off. I'm 46 and need to be able to function. I'm sorry you are suffering too. When it gets just AWFUL, I am forced to take Xanax. It's the only fool-proof thing that works for me.

If you're not getting sufficient help from Botox injections, your doctor may need to increase the amount and/or locations of the shots. You have a comment suggesting that you take Xanax, a benzodiazepam. DON'T! Xanax acts quickly, but the effect doesn't last long, so you have to take more of these pills. It is one of the most dangerous of the benzos, and after taking it long term, if for some reason you miss taking it, you are likely to have a seizure. If you must take oral meds along with the Botox, there are others that are better. Talk to a neurologist about the best anti-spasmodic oral medication for you.

I was diagnosed three years ago the Botox really helps but now I have blurry and double vision. Does anyone else have problems like this. The specialist at the eye infirmary hasn't got a solution. Thanks





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Dorothy I used to get double vision - it has to do with the injection site on the outer area of the lid - they usually do 3 spots there - I had them discontinue the middle shot and reduce the other 2 and it stopped but I do have increased clenching - so when I go for my next injections they will increase the upper and lower 2 spots and still not do the middle one in the hopes that helps.

Hello am 24 and my left eye keeps twitching. Only one eye and it feels like my eye going to pop out. I have an MRI on Tuesday to rule out any brain issues. Had ct and they said it was fine. It happends wen ever. When am stressed to just sitting about doing nothing. Am currently having head aches but my gp says my head aches are stress that's why am having MRI. But havnt spoke to him about my eye yt. What can I do. Thanks





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I am 21 years old and I have currently been diagnosed with this. I have to have a full brain MRI scan in the next coming weeks to ensure there is no underlying cause and also is am being referred for botox injections and the way the doctors have made me feel is horrible. There has been no communication and I am fed up now. It's horrible when my eye clamps shut for no reason and I have to talk to parents at work and feel useless when I want to just pin my eye open, I hope I am only going to need one course of botox but they are not sure so only time will tell for me! I hope everyone suffering has a quick diagnosis and doesn't get messsed around from pillar to post like I have over t he past few weeks.





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I have been getting botox injections every 4 months which work for a short time However on last visit this December I was asked to score from 1 to 10. Also informed not to come just phone when really bad then an appointment will be made for me. I believe they are trying to save costs which doesn't help me as I only have vision in my left eye which is being treated with botox .

I've had it for about 4 years now n I'm 23. I hate the idea of botox as I hate needles. I saw a comment about eye drops. Does anyone know if they actually help?





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