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Symptomatology of Blepharospasm
Blepharospasm is a focal dystonia characterized by excessive involuntary contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscles, leading to repetitive blinking or sustained closure of the eyelids.1
Blepharospasm may be accompanied by cervical dystonia. It can also occur with dystonia affecting the mouth and/or jaw (oromandibular dystonia, Meige syndrome). In such cases, spasms of the eyelids are accompanied by jaw clenching or mouth opening, grimacing, and tongue protrusion.
Benign essential blepharospasm, as distinguished from the less serious secondary blinking disorders, is both a cranial and a focal dystonia.
Blepharospasm can be triggered by exposure to bright lights, watching television, reading, driving, fatigue, and emotional tension.
Contractions may be ameliorated by concentrating on a specific task2 or by using sensory tricks such as touching the forehead or the eyebrow or talking.
As blepharospasm progresses, it may occur frequently during the day. The spasms disappear in sleep and may not appear until several hours after waking.
As blepharospasm progresses further, the spasms may intensify to the point that the patient is functionally blind; the eyelids may remain forcibly closed for several hours at a time.
Epidemiology of blepharospasm
Etiology of blepharospasm
Blepharospasm treatment options
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