Merck Manual

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Blepharospasm

By

James Garrity

, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Last full review/revision May 2022| Content last modified Sep 2022
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Blepharospasm is spasm of muscles around the eye causing involuntary blinking and eye closing.

Symptoms are involuntary blinking and closing of the eyes; in severe cases, people cannot open their eyes. Spasms may be made worse by fatigue, bright light, and anxiety.

Treatment of blepharospasm involves injecting botulinum toxin type A into the eyelid muscles; treatment must be repeated in most instances. Anxiolytics may help. Surgery to cut the periorbital muscles is also effective but, because of potential complications, is considered only if botulinum toxin is ineffective. Sunglasses help decrease the light sensitivity that may cause or accompany blepharospasm. Temporary relief can also be obtained by alleviating maneuvers such as touching the face, covering the eyes, singing, or yawning (1 General reference Blepharospasm is spasm of muscles around the eye causing involuntary blinking and eye closing. The cause of blepharospasm is most often unknown. It affects women more than men and tends to occur... read more ).

General reference

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