Blepharospasm is an involuntary contraction and spasm of the eyelid muscles that causes your eyes to squeeze shut. Blepharospasm is more common in women and usually appears after the age of 50. Generally, one will notice that one’s eyes are blinking and twitching more often. On occasion, it can progress to repeated, forceful, involuntary closing of the eyes.

Bright lights, fatigue, watching television, driving, and stress can all exacerbate your condition. Sleeping, walking, concentrating on a task, and relaxation exercises may provide temporary relief.

The most common treatment for severe blepharospasm is the injection of small amounts of botulinum toxin into the eye muscles to partially paralyze them and return them to normal function. Results are temporary, so treatment must be repeated every few months.

(c) 2007 The American Academy of Ophthalmology

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This post was written by Rob Schertzer