What is blepharospasm?
How is blepharospasm treated?
Though there are a myriad of methods that can be used to treat blepharospasm, these treatment options are only able to reduce the severity of the neurological condition instead of completely curing it. While oral medications are available, they usually provide short-term symptomatic relief that can only work in approximately 15% of the affected patients. Besides oral drugs, patients can even opt for myectomy, which is a surgical procedure that removes some of the muscles and nerves in the eyelids. This method is far more effective as it can result in effective improvement of symptoms in about 75 to 85% of patients with blepharospasm. Other alternative treatment options that can be used to manage this condition include nutritional therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and hypnosis. That being said, the efficacy and benefits of these methods remain unproven.
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Blepharospasm Treatment
The best treatment method of blepharospasm is via botulinum toxin injection. Botox, 1 of the leading brand of botulinum toxin type A manufactured by Allergan, is extracted from the Hall strain of Clostridium botulinum bacteria cultures fermented with yeast extract, casein hydrolysate, and glucose. The injectable must be reconstituted with preservative-free saline solution (9mg/mL sodium chloride solution before it is injected into the affected areas. The reconstituted solution is meant to be injected intramuscularly into the medial and lateral orbicularis oculi of the upper lid and the lateral orbicularis oculi of the lower lid. The maximum dosage is 25 units in each eye. Following injection, the toxin blocks the actions of nerve impulses which temporarily paralyses the muscles. Patients should be able to notice improvements within 3 days after the treatment session. These improvements will last for about 3 months. Only certified injectors experienced in handling the preparation and administration of botulinum toxin should inject the reconstituted solution into affected eyelid(s).