You may already know that BOTOX® is a great way to get rid of wrinkles, but did you know it also treats certain medical problems?
In its earliest days, long before they began using it for cosmetic purposes, doctors used BOTOX® to treat abnormal spasms of the eyelid, known as blepharospasm. The condition causes uncontrollable frequent eye blinking and closing of the eyes, which makes it very difficult to see. Treatment with the active ingredient in BOTOX®, botulinum toxin type A, stops the excessive blinking.
About 5 in 100,000 people have blepharospasm, which affects the muscles around the eye responsible for closing the eyelid. The condition causes over-activity of these muscles, resulting in uncontrollable blinking and muscle twitching. Blepharospasm can cause loss of vision, particularly while reading. It can also cause headaches and uncomfortable eyebrow strain.
In its early stages, blepharospasm can cause spasms of the eyelids, brow, and in the muscles of the middle or lower face, along with increased blinking. Bright lights, fatigue, stress, emotional tension, and environmental factors, such as wind or air pollution, can make symptoms of blepharospasm worse. Reading, walking, watching television, exposure to bright lights, and driving can also aggravate symptoms. Blepharospasm can worsen over time, causing the eyelids to blink even more rapidly – eyelids can even close for long periods, resulting in functional blindness because the patient cannot open their eyes.
IEC has doctors who can treat blepharospasm by injecting tiny doses of botulinum toxin into the affected muscles above and below the eyes. Patients begin to experience relief from their symptoms about a week after the injection. Results last for an average of three to four months.
BOTOX® is an approved treatment for blepharospasm, facial spasms and facial wrinkles.
Research shows it is a very safe treatment. Studies also show it is an effective treatment, with up to 90 percent of patients enjoying almost complete relief of their blepharospasm.
For more information about using BOTOX® for the treatment of blepharospasm, contact the eye doctors at IEC.