Receive Effective Nonsurgical and Surgical Blepharospasm Treatments
Blepharospasm is a rare eye condition characterized by abnormal and uncontrollable twitching or contractions of the eyelids. If left untreated, it can lead to lifelong challenges and even functional blindness. Dr. Dustin Heringer offers effective nonsurgical and surgical blepharospasm treatments at Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ. As a board certified surgeon specializing in oculofacial plastic surgery, he can help patients experience relief from this bothersome eye condition.
At Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Heringer offers three different kinds of treatment options for the various stages and intensities of this eye condition.
Types of Blepharospasms
Blepharospasm, also known as eye dystonia, is a neurological movement disorder instigated by incorrect messaging between the brain and eye muscles. This rare condition affects only one in 20,000 people in the United States. Although the exact cause of these impulses is unknown, stress, exhaustion, eye diseases, excessive eyelid skin, and dry eyes seem to play a contributing role. While eyesight is generally normal for most patients experiencing blepharospasm, vision can be impaired due to involuntary eyelid closure. Patients with this eye condition generally experience one of two types.
- Essential: The cause of this benign and rare focal dystonia is unknown, but seems to be triggered by exhaustion, stress, or an irritant. It is most often diagnosed in patients between the ages of 45 to 65, and symptoms can be transient or produce lifelong challenges.
- Reflex: Symptoms for this type are triggered by pain in and around the eye, often caused by certain eye conditions and diseases such as interstitial keratitis, corneal foreign body, corneal ulcers, and iridocyclitis that affect the trigeminal nerve.
Signs and Symptoms of Blepharospasm
The effects of blepharospasm generally begin gradually and will increase over time if left untreated. They can include:
- Eye irritation
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive blinking
- Involuntary eyelid closure
- Excessive tearing
- Dry eyes
- Chronic eye twitching
- Functional blindness
- Eye pain
Currently there is not a cure for blepharospasm. However, at Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Heringer offers three different kinds of treatment options for the various stages and intensities of this eye condition.
- Medications: Oral medications commonly used to treat high blood pressure, anxiety, and Parkinson’s disease have proven to be successful for mild cases of blepharospasm. Medications, such as clonazepam, lorazepam, and trihexyphenidyl have very few side effects, and Dr. Heringer will prescribe them based on your unique symptoms and medical history.
- BOTOX®: For chronic eye spasms and involuntary eyelid closure, Dr. Heringer can inject BOTOX®, a purified form of botulinum toxin, into your eye muscles to control the spasms. Most patients notice an improvement within seven to ten days, and treatments can be administered every three to six months.
- Myectomy: When oral medications and BOTOX® have been unsuccessful, eye surgery may be necessary. During a myectomy, Dr. Heringer will remove the affected eye muscle through either a limited or extensive surgical procedure, depending on the severity of the eye muscle spasms. An experienced surgeon such as Dr. Heringer should only perform this delicate and meticulous procedure. As a board certified surgeon with an extensive background in ophthalmic plastic and cosmetic surgery, he can ensure that you receive satisfying results. Patients often achieve superior results by combining a myectomy with routine BOTOX® injections.
Schedule Your Treatment
If you are experiencing any of the bothersome symptoms listed above, Dr. Heringer can help you find relief. Contact our Scottsdale, AZ, practice today to schedule your consultation.