Blepharospasm or Benign Essential Blepharospasm (BEB):
BEB is a movement disorder of the eyelids that affects approximately 5 out of every 100,000 people. BEB causes uncontrolled blinking, squeezing, and eyelid closure without an apparent environmental cause. Currently, the most effective therapies involve injectable agents including: Botox®, Xeomin®, Dysport®, and Myobloc®.
BEB can often be caused or exacerbated by dry eyes, bright lights, or other irritants to the eye. Often times, treating the underlying conditions may alleviate or completely eliminate the muscle spasms. The spasms will usually cease when the patient falls asleep. After addressing the possible triggers for muscle spasm, consideration for injections may be prudent.
While it has been seen that this condition typically occurs in middle age, affecting more women than men, there is no known physiologic cause for this disorder. In some patients this may be just an inconvenience, but in others it may cause more significant problems including difficulty with: driving, reading, walking, or carrying on with activities of daily life.
Therapeutic treatments with injectable agents mentioned above have proven to be an excellent treatment for this condition. This intervention involves a superficial injection of one of these medications in several strategically chosen areas that will likely prevent the muscles from going into spasm. While many fear the pain involved with injections, it is conducted with a very fine gauge syringe and is typically very well tolerated.