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How can blepharospasm be treated?

There are several treatment options available, including:
  • Botulinum injections
  • Drug therapy
  • Surgery
Injections of a muscle relaxant called botulinum toxin (commonly referred to as Botox) into facial muscles around the eye have been very effective in controlling the spasms associated with blepharospasm. Small doses of Botox are injected with a very slender needle into several muscles above and below your eye. Relief from spasms begins anywhere from one day to two weeks after the injections and lasts an average of four months. Short-term side effects may include tearing, double vision, droopy eyelids or blurred vision.
Botox injections are the most effective method of treatment, used in about 90 to 95 percent of cases. In the remaining 5 to 10 percent of cases, Botox is either ineffective or not preferred, and drug treatment or surgery is used instead.
Drug treatment for blepharospasm requires patience, as finding a successful mix of drugs and doses may take some time. Some drugs are more effective for some patients than others, and certain drugs may produce short-term benefits, unpleasant side effects or both. It is important to follow the instructions of your ophthalmologist or neurologist, and report side effects if they occur.
Surgery is recommended when Botox and drug treatment do not work. There are two common types of surgery. One involves removing the facial muscle that is causing the spasms. The second involves removing a portion of the nerve in order to reduce the severity of the spasm. Short- or long-term side effects are possible and should be discussed with your ophthalmologist before surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.