Under the category of eye disorders, Blepharospasm is one such known disorder. This term is used to define the medical condition wherein an individual’s eyelid muscles are seen contracting involuntarily resulting into constant blinking activity. Once the abnormal blinking begins, there is no stopping under the influence of this disorder. Such problems don’t occur in only one of the eyes but affects both the eyelids. Due to this disorder, opening the eyelids becomes a very tough task. There have been severe cases wherein the suffering patient has been observed to be under tremendous uneasiness being unable to keep his or her eyelids open for a considerable amount of time. Similarly, opening of eyelids at normal intervals also becomes a very difficult task.
The disorder of Blepharospasm is observed to occur mostly among women. According to research statistics, the average age considered for this disorder to occur is inferred as 56 years.
There are no concrete causes known for the occurring of Blepharospasm as yet. However, it is believed that the abnormal functioning of the brain is one of the suspected causes for this disorder to occur. One of the research theory mentions that due to inaccurate process of sending chemical messages from one nerve cell to the other within the basal ganglia, this disorder might be the result of this defect. Basal ganglia is known as the movement control centre of the brain. Yet there is no robust evidence that this might be the root cause of this disorder. Research also states that genetic element cannot be considered as a suspected cause factor since rarely cases are seen wherein more than one family member has acquired Blepharospasm.
The feeling of irritation and uneasiness is considered to be the initial sign and symptom of the occurring of Blepharospasm. This first sign is also accompanied by increased frequency of eyelid blinking and is linked with glare as well as light. Patients diagnosed with this disorder are seen complaining about gritty sensation in the eyes along with dryness. Gradually, the eyelid closure symptom starts interfering with the regular day to day activity such as reading books or meeting people or doing any physical activity. Constantly fluctuating lights or dusty or smoky atmosphere can stimulate the symptoms to grow even worse.
Regular medical examination or health check-ups along with deriving the medical history of the patient are the only ways of finding out the presence of Blepharospasm. There are no specific tests or experiments done for diagnosing this disorder. One of the major reasons for the difficulty in diagnosing this disorder is due to its similarity with the characteristics of other disorders such as Ptosis of the eyelids also known as droopiness of the eyelids. It is inferred that the medical drugs used to treat disorders like Parkinson can be potential enough to cause similar signs and symptoms as seen in Blepharospasm.
Out of the several ways to treat this disorder, it is suggested that stress management is one of the very effective modes of controlling this disorder from growing. It is said that emotional stress can worsen the symptoms observed during Blepharospasm. Medical practitioners prescribe drugs such as diazepam lithium which have the potential to cure this disorder; however the chances of success may vary. A surgery known by the name of myectomy is also performed in some cases wherein some portion or the whole of the eyelid is removed along with the eyebrow muscles which cause squinting.
There is no specific way or means by which this disorder can be prevented from occurring. However, extreme exposure to bright light of flashy lighting as well as taking less stress is some suggestive measure to avoid its growth.