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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