How to treat blepharospasm? Natural treatment and prognosis
Treatment for blepharospasm can be a savior for those who suffer from blepharospasm or BEB as it is often called. What is blepharospasm? This is a rare neurological disease characterized by involuntary muscle spasms and muscle contractions around the eyes.
BEB stands for Benign Essential Blepharospasm, which means it is not fatal. Although symptoms can start off as minor discomfort, for many people with the condition, they progress to involuntary eye closure and require treatment.
Blepharospasm is a term that can be associated with any type of abnormal eyelid or eyelid contraction. Some people with dry eyes suffer from BEB, as do some people with Tourette's syndrome or tardive dyskinesia.
Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder that involves repetitive and involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Tardive dyskinesia is an involuntary movement, which often involves the lower face. Although blepharospasm is not fatal, it can be difficult to live with. Some patients suffer from forced eyelid closure - sometimes for hours.
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Treatment and prognosis of blepharospasm
Usually, symptoms of blepharospasm come and go during the day. When a sick person is sleeping, they don't care about the symptoms, but as soon as they wake up, the eye will contract and blink again. The exact cause of BEB is unknown, but there is treatment for blepharospasm.
Each case of blepharospasm is different depending on the underlying cause. A doctor will help you determine the best possible treatment for blepharospasm based on this underlying cause. For example, if eye damage is part of the problem, treatment for blepharospasm will likely be different from the treatment prescribed for people with Tourette's syndrome or another type of health disorder.
The following list shows how to stop blepharospasm:
Stress Management: Learning stress management techniques can be helpful for those with blepharospasm because stress and anxiety make symptoms worse.
Botulinum (Botox): Produced by botulinum toxin type A, when injected botulinum can interrupt nerve messages to muscles and cause paralysis. Normally, several injections are given above and below the eye. One to four days later, the paralysis begins. The full effect occurs in about a week. Botox treatment lasts up to four months. There may be side effects, such as dry eyes, droopy eyelids, and double vision. A specially trained neurologist, ophthalmologist or neuro-ophthalmologist should administer the injections.
Medication: If Botox does not work, medication against motility can be used to control blepharospasm. Sometimes drugs like diazepam (Valium) are used, but their success rate varies.
Surgery: A myectomy is a procedure that involves the partial or total removal of the muscles of the eyelids and eyebrows responsible for strabismus. This is usually only done if the Botox is not working. Myectomy improves symptoms of blepharospasm in up to 80% of cases; however, some people find that they require repeated operations.
When it comes to treating blepharospasm with botulinum injections, research suggests that 90% of patients improve, although it is necessary to keep in mind that continuous injections are necessary. It's also important to remember that treatment for blepharospasm is often corrected over time, and patients may have other medical conditions that prevent them from undergoing certain treatments.
Natural treatment options for blepharospasm
There are natural blepharospasm treatment options that can be considered. It is important that if you have BEB, let your healthcare team know how you are treating your conditions.
The following list describes some potential natural treatments
Massages: Giving a massage to the muscles of the cheek, jaw and gums can sometimes provide immediate relief to those suffering from mild blepharospasm. There is a hard muscle near the back of the mouth called a masseter. This muscle rises and falls vertically. Using the pointer finger at the top of the masseter and pressing down firmly can be effective. The pressure should continue on any sensitive point of this muscle for 30 seconds apart. People who have been successful with this type of massage report that they experienced relief within three to four days.
Headband: Some people have reported that wearing a tight headband or baseball cap has been helpful in reducing symptoms, at least temporarily.
Mouth Movements: Exercising the mouth by chewing gum, hissing, humming, singing, or sucking on a straw is helpful for some people. Others say reading aloud is fine for them.
Positioning: close your eyes and put your head back or look down
Diet: Avoid caffeine, especially coffee, tea, chocolate, and carbonated drinks.
Dark glasses: Some people with blepharospasm are sensitive to light, so wearing dark glasses can be comforting. Indoors, it can also be helpful to rely on natural light whenever possible.
Meditation: Using meditation to deal with general stress or stress associated with the condition can be helpful. Some people just find themselves in a dark place and focusing on their breathing makes a difference. Yoga and a long walk are other options.
Avoid Medications: Some medications can make blepharospasm worse, so figuring out which ones are annoying and therefore avoiding these medications can reduce the severity of symptoms.
Chiropractic: A chiropractor may be able to relieve the twitching of the eyes. Chiropractors are professionally trained in realigning the bones and muscles of the body.
Acupuncture: Trained acupuncture specialists can insert needles in various places on the body. Many people find acupuncture to be effective in relieving their chronic pain, and some have found that it can treat their blepharospasm. Acupuncture for blepharospasm would likely involve inserting needles into the muscles around the eyes.
Hypnosis: it means that a person is put into an altered state of consciousness. A hypnotherapist offers advice that will become part of the patient's memory once the session is over. The idea is that the suggestions lead to answers that will help alleviate the symptoms.
There is currently no cure for benign essential blepharospasm (BEB), but approximately 50,000 Americans are living with the rare disease. Some of these cases are genetic, while others are not. Studies show that up to 2,000 new cases are reported each year in the United States. Getting effective treatment as soon as a diagnosis of blepharospasm has been confirmed can be very helpful, not only physically but also emotionally.