Blepharospasm or Benign Essential Blepharospasm (BEB)
Blepharospasm or Benign Essential Blepharospasm (BEB) is a movement disorder of the eyelids, affecting 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. Oftentimes, 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 spasms, consideration for injections may be prudent.
While physicians have observed 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, blepharospasm may be just an inconvenience, but, in others, it may cause more significant problems including difficulty driving, reading, walking, or carrying on the activities of daily life.
Therapeutic treatments with injectable agents, as 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.