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Blepharospasm, Hemifacial Spasm and Botulinum Toxin (Botox)
Blepharospasm is a medical condition that causes the muscles around your eyes to spasm involuntarily. Symptoms usually begin as mild and infrequent spasms that progress over time to forceful and frequent contractures of the eyelids, in advanced cases causing functional blindness from inability to temporarily open the eyes.
Some people find that their blepharospasm is worsened by certain things e.g. bright light, stress, social interactions etc. If you have blepharospasm, the pattern of the spasm may change throughout the day. For example, you may have few or no symptoms when you wake up in the morning, but they may start to appear or get worse when you are tired or stressed.
Hemifacial spasm causes similar spasms around the eye, but only affects one side and usually involves other muscles elsewhere on the same side of the face e.g. the cheek and mouth. Some patients who develop hemifacial spasm can have a blood vessel in the brain that lies too near to the facial nerve and which touches it, resulting in the spasms. Another cause is abnormal rewiring of the facial nerve following a facial nerve paralysis, as it heals again over time. This is known as aberrant facial nerve regeneration.
Dr Graham Hay-Smith is experienced in using botulinum toxin commonly known as Botox® He was trained at the world leading National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and at Moorfields Eye Hospital in the use of botulinum toxin and ran a clinic for the UK National Health Service for patients suffering from Facial, Hemifacial spasm and Blepharospasm. He is approved by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (Section 100-Highly Specialised Drugs Program) which permits him to use botulinum toxin at standard prescription rates.
For more information on this treatment, our clinics and the procedure please refer to Botox Clinics.