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Blepharospasm, also knowns as benign essential blepharospasm, is uncontrolled blinking or other eyelid movements such as twitching. Twitching of the eyelid often goes away on its own, but people with blepharospasm can have severe and long-term eyelid twitching.

Blepharospasm symptoms

Blepharospasm mostly starts with small eyelid twitches that occur once in a while. Over time, the twitching can occur more often, leading to complete closure of the eyes. This may make everyday tasks such as driving and reading difficult.

Some also experience facial twitches, twitching in other parts of their face.

Do I have blepharospasm if my eyelids are twitching?

No, you may not. Blepharospasm is a rare condition, and many factors can cause eyelid twitching, such as dry eye, lack of sleep, stress and excess caffeine. Most times, the twitching stops after a while.

Sometimes, eyelid twitching occurs due to other health conditions, such as Tourette syndrome and Meige syndrome, and as a side effect of other medicines.

Ensure you visit your eye doctor if:

Causes of blepharospasm 

Blepharospasm occurs when the part of the brain controlling your eyelid muscles stop working correctly. Blepharospasm may run in a family, and women between 40 – 60 years are more likely to develop it. However, doctors aren’t sure of its cause in most cases.

How can my eye doctor diagnose blepharospasm?

Your eye doctor can check for blepharospasm during a comprehensive eye exam. The eye doctor will also ask if you have a personal or family medical history of blepharospasm. They may send you for further investigations including imaging of brain or other part of your body to make sure no other health reason cause this condition.

Treatments for blepharospasm

No absolute cure is available for blepharospasm, but treatments are available to alleviate your symptoms. They include:

An eye doctor can inject Botox into your eyelid muscles to stop the twitching. Many people with blepharospasm need the injections every 3 – 4 months.

If injections aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend myectomy, a surgery to remove some nerve tissues or muscles from your eyelids to stop the twitching.

Certain lifestyle changes can help such as managing stress, reducing intake of drinks with caffeine (soda, tea or soda) and getting enough sleep.

If your eyelid twitching results from another condition, treating the condition may stop the twitching. For instance, if you have dry eye, your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help your eyes produce more tears.

Our eye doctor at Optimal Vision can carry out an eye exam to check if you have blepharospasm and recommend the right treatment to manage the condition. Visit our eye clinic today or call 020 7183 3725 to schedule an appointment for your eye examination.

Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL Surgery

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