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Blepharospasm

By

James Garrity

, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
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Blepharospasm is a spasm of the muscles around the eye.

Symptoms of blepharospasm are uncontrolled blinking and closing of the eye. In severe cases, people cannot open their eyes. Spasms may be worsened by fatigue, bright light, and anxiety.

If blepharospasm is mild, it may be relieved by simple maneuvers such as singing, humming, touching an eyelid or chewing gum. Otherwise, treatment is injection of botulinum toxin A into the eye muscles, which can relieve or prevent the spasm. Drugs (to reduce anxiety) and sunglasses (to decrease light sensitivity) may help. If injection of botulinum toxin A does not help and symptoms are severe, surgery to cut the eyelid muscles can be done.

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