Benign Essential Blepharospasm Information Page

Benign Essential Blepharospasm Information Page


What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad program of research on disorders of the nervous system, including BEB. Much of this research is aimed at increasing understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Eyelid Disorders

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What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad program of research on disorders of the nervous system, including BEB. Much of this research is aimed at increasing understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Eyelid Disorders

The NINDS supports a broad program of research on disorders of the nervous system, including BEB. Much of this research is aimed at increasing understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Eyelid Disorders

Search Disorders

Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It is a form of dystonia, a movement disorder in which muscle contractions cause sustained eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements. BEB begins gradually with increased frequency of eye blinking often associated with eye irritation. Other symptoms may include increasing difficulty in keeping the eyes open, and light sensitivity. Generally, the spasms occur during the day, disappear in sleep, and reappear after waking. As the condition progresses, the spasms may intensify, forcing the eyelids to remain closed for long periods of time, and thereby causing substantial visual disturbance or functional blindness. It is important to note that the blindness is caused solely by the uncontrollable closing of the eyelids and not by a dysfunction of the eyes. BEB occurs in both men and women, although it is especially common in middle-aged and elderly women.

×
Definition

Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It is a form of dystonia, a movement disorder in which muscle contractions cause sustained eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements. BEB begins gradually with increased frequency of eye blinking often associated with eye irritation. Other symptoms may include increasing difficulty in keeping the eyes open, and light sensitivity. Generally, the spasms occur during the day, disappear in sleep, and reappear after waking. As the condition progresses, the spasms may intensify, forcing the eyelids to remain closed for long periods of time, and thereby causing substantial visual disturbance or functional blindness. It is important to note that the blindness is caused solely by the uncontrollable closing of the eyelids and not by a dysfunction of the eyes. BEB occurs in both men and women, although it is especially common in middle-aged and elderly women.

Treatment
Treatment

In most cases of BEB the treatment of choice is botulinum toxin injections which relax the muscles and stop the spasms. Other treatment options include medications (drug therapy) or surgery--either local surgery of the eye muscles or deep brain stimulation surgery.

×
Treatment

In most cases of BEB the treatment of choice is botulinum toxin injections which relax the muscles and stop the spasms. Other treatment options include medications (drug therapy) or surgery--either local surgery of the eye muscles or deep brain stimulation surgery.

Definition
Definition

Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It is a form of dystonia, a movement disorder in which muscle contractions cause sustained eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements. BEB begins gradually with increased frequency of eye blinking often associated with eye irritation. Other symptoms may include increasing difficulty in keeping the eyes open, and light sensitivity. Generally, the spasms occur during the day, disappear in sleep, and reappear after waking. As the condition progresses, the spasms may intensify, forcing the eyelids to remain closed for long periods of time, and thereby causing substantial visual disturbance or functional blindness. It is important to note that the blindness is caused solely by the uncontrollable closing of the eyelids and not by a dysfunction of the eyes. BEB occurs in both men and women, although it is especially common in middle-aged and elderly women.

Treatment
Treatment

In most cases of BEB the treatment of choice is botulinum toxin injections which relax the muscles and stop the spasms. Other treatment options include medications (drug therapy) or surgery--either local surgery of the eye muscles or deep brain stimulation surgery.

Prognosis
Prognosis

With botulinum toxin treatment most individuals with BEB have substantial relief of symptoms. Although some may experience side effects such as drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, and eye dryness, these side effects are usually only temporary. The condition may worsen or expand to surrounding muscles; remain the same for many years; and, in rare cases, improve spontaneously.

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With botulinum toxin treatment most individuals with BEB have substantial relief of symptoms. Although some may experience side effects such as drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, and eye dryness, these side effects are usually only temporary. The condition may worsen or expand to surrounding muscles; remain the same for many years; and, in rare cases, improve spontaneously.

Prognosis
Prognosis

With botulinum toxin treatment most individuals with BEB have substantial relief of symptoms. Although some may experience side effects such as drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, and eye dryness, these side effects are usually only temporary. The condition may worsen or expand to surrounding muscles; remain the same for many years; and, in rare cases, improve spontaneously.

Definition

Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and spasms of the eyelid muscles. It is a form of dystonia, a movement disorder in which muscle contractions cause sustained eyelid closure, twitching or repetitive movements. BEB begins gradually with increased frequency of eye blinking often associated with eye irritation. Other symptoms may include increasing difficulty in keeping the eyes open, and light sensitivity. Generally, the spasms occur during the day, disappear in sleep, and reappear after waking. As the condition progresses, the spasms may intensify, forcing the eyelids to remain closed for long periods of time, and thereby causing substantial visual disturbance or functional blindness. It is important to note that the blindness is caused solely by the uncontrollable closing of the eyelids and not by a dysfunction of the eyes. BEB occurs in both men and women, although it is especially common in middle-aged and elderly women.

Treatment

In most cases of BEB the treatment of choice is botulinum toxin injections which relax the muscles and stop the spasms. Other treatment options include medications (drug therapy) or surgery--either local surgery of the eye muscles or deep brain stimulation surgery.

Prognosis

With botulinum toxin treatment most individuals with BEB have substantial relief of symptoms. Although some may experience side effects such as drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, and eye dryness, these side effects are usually only temporary. The condition may worsen or expand to surrounding muscles; remain the same for many years; and, in rare cases, improve spontaneously.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad program of research on disorders of the nervous system, including BEB. Much of this research is aimed at increasing understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Eyelid Disorders

Patient Organizations
Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation
637 North 7th Street Suite 102
P.O. Box 12468
Beaumont
TX
Beaumont, TX 77726-2468
Tel: 409-832-0788
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
1 East Wacker Drive
1730
Chicago
IL
Chicago, IL 60601-1905
Tel: 312-755-0198
Patient Organizations