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Introduction to the Blepharospasm Foundation Site

(Disclaimer About Medical Advice on This Site)

Blepharospasm is a neurological condition characterized by forcible closure of the eyelids. The purpose of the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation (BEBRF) is to undertake, promote, develop and carry on the search for the cause and a cure for benign essential blepharospasm and other related disorders and infirmities of the facial musculature. A useful description of the organization, it’s role and structure, can be found in the BEBRF tab on the top navigation bar and in the brochure known as the blue book, available here

Blepharo means "eyelid". Spasm means "uncontrolled muscle contraction". The term blepharospasm ['blef-a-ro-spaz-m] can be applied to any abnormal blinking (excessive eyelid blinking, eyelid spasms, eyelid futtering, eyelid squeezing) 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". 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
This site includes:
  • Information in other languages: Español; Français; Italiano; Korean (see tab in left nav bar)
  • A patient support Bulletin Board (see tab in left nav bar)
  • Contacts for patient support groups
  • Related disorders (see tab in top nav bar)
  • Descriptions of current methods of treatment for blepharospasm (see Treatments tab in top nav bar)
  • an on-line store (see tab in left nav bar) from which one can order a variety of items including brochures, medical reprints, a bimonthly newsletter.
  • Medical information in text and video format for patients and physicians about blepharospasm (see tab in left nav bar)
  • Information about blepharospasm research, including a grant application form {see tab in top nav bar)
  • Information about the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation (BEBRF) (see tab in top nav bar)
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