Condition: Blepharospasm2018-09-18T12:59:14+00:00

Blepharospasm Overview

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There are different treatment options available for this condition and the most common ones are listed below:

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Blepharospasm

What is a Blepharospasm?

Blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm are neurological conditions that affect the facial muscles. Blepharospasm affects the muscle around both eyes (orbicularis muscle), whilst a hemifacial spasm affects more muscles in one side of the face (eye, cheek, mouth, etc).

Causes of Blepharospasm

The cause of these diseases remains largely unknown. Patients with facial palsy may develop a form of blepharospasm when the nerve tries to grow back, known specifically as an ‘aberrant regeneration of the facial nerve’.
There are a small number of non-neurological causes of blepharospasm including severe dry eye, spastic entropion (eyelashes turning in towards eye) and severe photosensitivity.

With blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm, the appearance of the face also changes and social interactions are affected.

Symptoms for Blepharospasm

The symptoms of both belpharospasms, hemifacial spasms and aberrant regeneration spasms are related to the involuntary contractions of the muscles affected. These contractions can be very frequent or episodic. If the contractions affect the muscles around the eyes, discomfort, watery eyes, an inability to properly open the eyes or impeded vision may occur. If the muscles around the mouth are affected it may not be possible to eat or speak properly. Sometimes the contractions are painful.

Examination for Blepharospasm

A thorough ophthalmic examination is carried out to ensure that there are no eyelid or eye surface problems. The oculoplastic surgeon takes photographs and videos to document the face and eyelid movements. Sometimes a neurological examination and neuroimaging scans (CT-scan/MRI) are requested. Particular care is taken to observe which muscles are involved in the spasm so that a planning map of the face and peri-orbital area can be made for treatment with Botulinum Toxin A (e.g. Botox (r), Dysport (r), etc.).

Treatment for Blepharospasm

As the main problem in these conditions is muscle contraction, controlled paralysis of the muscles affected reduces the effects. This is done with Botulinum toxin A (Botox® or Dysport®) injected in small doses into the muscles with spasm. Great care is taken choosing the injection sites in order to minimise the risk of potential side effects. Blepharospasm can be treated effectively with Botulinum Toxin A injections every 3-4 months with only a few patients requiring surgery for ptosis or removal of orbicularis. In patients with hemi-facial spasm, care is taken when injecting close to the mouth in order to avoid drooling.

Before any injection of Botulinum Toxin A, it is advisable to take paracetamol to reduce the slight discomfort of the injections.

Ice packs are not required afterwards and you can go straight back to work.

“Dr. Jane Olver was fantastic! She was so caring and sweet and it was clear that she knew what she was doing – very professional! I am absolutely over the moon with my results now!”

Toni C.

“Jane Olver is your woman – I wish I had found her at the start. I will be forever grateful for her care and expertise.”

Nancy W.

“Just wanted to thank you for your exceptional assistance with my eye condition. I was so worried but you really helped me feel at ease.”

David T.

“I felt much better after speaking to you and being reassured. I am much calmer and actually got some sleep last night.”

Catherine M.
“I was deeply impressed by the politeness and empathy shown to me. I found the surgery very peaceful and beautifully decorated and I hope to see Jane again soon.”
Jeffrey W.
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Lorraine M.
“I am writing to you to say thank you to you, Cloe and Jane for taking care of me this week. You were all really lovely and professional and I am very grateful. Big cheer for The Clinica London Team.”
Rick A.
“Many thanks for taking care of my ptosis surgery today. I am now back home and resting but wanted to send a quick note to thank you for taking such good care of me.”

Charmaine
“The treatment was a great success; within 24 hours of starting the treatment the pain and swelling subsided and as a result, I was able to enjoy a great holiday in Argentina.”
Simon
“Thank you, my eye is recovering brilliantly (you almost can’t see I had it). Jane was amazing, please pass on a huge thank you.”
Jen

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Frequently Asked Questions

Botulinum toxin A is injected in clinic during a routine visit. The injection is made with a tiny needle, very slowly and gently.

We often inject botulinum toxin A into different areas of the face and neck as well around the eyes.

Most patients say that they feel little or no pain during the injections. If you feel you are more pain sensitive you can take painkillers and tranquilising tablets prior to arriving at the clinic.

There is also the option to apply an anaesthetic cream to the face 30 minutes before undergoing the procedure. The oculoplastic surgeon will discuss the various options with you.

You will not need any treatment or special advice after this procedure. Ice packs may help if there is a small amount of bruising.

You will not need any treatment or special advice after this procedure. Ice packs may help if there is a small amount of bruising.

Typically there is a review a few weeks after the procedure to check the final result. Follow up after these procedures depends on the patient. The Botulinum toxin works for a limited period of time (2–4 months).

Spasms will gradually get worse again and regular injections will be necessary to prevent symptoms.