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Blepharospasm is an episodic, involuntary spasm or contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle (the circular muscle around the eye), which produces uncontrolled blinking and squeezing of the eyelids. Essential blepharospasm is always bilateral (involving both eyes) and may be accompanied by uncontrollable orofacial and head and neck movements; the spasms disappear during sleep. Blepharospasm usually begins gradually, only occurring when there are bright lights, or during periods of fatigue. As the condition progresses, the spasms may intensify and occur more frequently. People with blepharospasm have normal eyes. Visual disturbance is due solely to the forced closure of the eyelids. In severe cases, patients with blepharospasm can be functionally blind.

Signs and Symptoms

Uncontrolled blinking, twitching or closure of eyelids; decreased vision in severe cases


Surgical excision of the orbicularis muscle in severe cases
Botulinum Toxin (Botox)