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Supportive Forms of Treatment for Blepharospasm

Stress makes all movement disorders, including blepharospasm, worse. Some patients may benefit from a course of stress management from an occupational therapist. Patients learn their own coping techniques which they share with others at support group meetings. Dark glasses are the commonest aid. They fulfill two functions. They reduce the intensity of sunlight which bothers many people with blepharospasm, and they hide the eyes from curious onlookers. Unless the patient is receiving treatment that is effective, he/she is at risk for becoming socially isolated. This fear of sustained spasms occurring while driving, crossing the road, socializing, walking, or taking part in some sporting activity, etc. becomes overwhelming, and the patient stays at home in familiar, safe surroundings. Support from family and friends is important. Thousands of persons are experiencing the same symptoms. The Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation has support groups throughout the U.S. There are also support groups in Canada and Australia. Sharing experiences at support group meetings will reassure a patient and his/her family. Up-to-date treatments and medical advances are also presented at support group meetings and symposiums. The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation has support groups throughout the U.S and Canada for persons with all types of dystonia - not just blepharospasm.

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