BEBRF logo Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation (BEBRF)

Home   Blepharospasm   Related disorders   Treatments   Patient support   The BEBRF   FAQ   Blepharospasm
Research
  Site Search

 Information in other languages 
 What's new 
 Contact us 
 Other ways to help fund BEBRF 
 BEBRF on-line store 
 On-line resources 
 Medical Information 
 Dystonia advocacy 
 Blepharospasm Bulletin Board 
 Subscribe to newsletter 

What is Blepharospasm

Blepharo means "eyelid". Spasm means "uncontrolled muscle contraction". The term blepharospasm ['blef-a-ro-spaz-m] can be applied to any abnormal blinking or eyelid tic or twitch resulting from any cause, ranging from dry eyes to Tourette's syndrome to tardive dyskinesia. The blepharospasm referred to here is officially called benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) to distinguish it from the less serious secondary blinking disorders. "Benign" indicates the condition is not life threatening, and "essential" is a medical term meaning "of unknown cause". It is both a cranial and a focal dystonia. Cranial refers to the head and focal indicates confinement to one part. The word dystonia describes abnormal involuntary sustained muscle contractions and spasms. Patients with blepharospasm have normal eyes. The visual disturbance is due solely to the forced closure of the eyelids.

Blepharospasm should not be confused with:
  • Ptosis - drooping of the eyelids caused by weakness or paralysis of a levator muscle of the upper eyelid
  • Blepharitis - an inflammatory condition of the lids due to infection or allergies
  • Hemifacial spasm - a non-dystonic condition involving various muscles on one side of the face, often including the eyelid, and caused by irritation of the facial nerve. The muscle contractions are more rapid and transient than those of blepharospasm, and the condition is always confined to one side

The first part of Dr. Miller's video, "Diagnosis & Treatment with Botox of Patients with Benign Essential Blepharospasm & Related Disorders", shows different ways in which blepharospasm may manifest itself.

Home > Blepharospasm index > Top of this page

Disclaimer Site map Webmaster Dedication Updated: November 3, 2012