Alternative Treatment for Blepharospasm (Eye Twitching)
What is blepharospasm? Blepharospasm is the medical name for eye twitching. In many cases eye twitching isn’t a serious condition and will resolve itself in a few days or weeks. However there are a few conditions that can make eye twitching a chronic disorder that can benefit from treatment. One of these conditions is known as benign essential blepharospasm. This is a neurological disorder that presents with eye and facial twitching. It is chronic which means that it won’t go away and progressive which means that it will likely get worse over time.
What Are The Symptoms of Benign Essential Blepharospasm?
Benign essential blepharospasm can develop without any warning or initial symptoms. Often it starts slowly with an increase in blinking or slight eye irritation. Each person that comes down with this condition will experience different symptoms. Some people report sensitivity to light while others experience emotional symptoms like fatigue and tension. Eye spasms, involuntary winking and blinking and difficulty keeping the eyes open are also common. When this condition starts the symptoms are often slight but they will intensify with time. As it progresses benign essential blepharospasm can seriously interfere with the ability to see since spasms can cause the eyes to be closed for significant periods of time. Both men and women suffer from this condition although it is most common in women.
What Medical Treatment Options are Available for Benign Essential Blepharospasm?
Currently there is no cure for benign essential blepharospasm. The symptoms of the condition are treated and managed, but the condition is typically a lifelong and chronic condition. One medical treatment option that is very effective in managing the symptoms of this condition is the use of Botox. Botox is a powerful toxin known as botulinium toxin. When it is injected into the skin it can temporarily paralyze muscles and limit nerve impulses. Patients being treated with Botox for blepharospasm will often receive injections of the toxin into their eyelids. This can be a very effective way to manage the symptoms. The treatment is temporary and injections are needed every 3 to 5 months.
Some patients choose to take oral medications for their eye twitching. These medications only work in some patients and have a success rate as low as 15%. Even in patients where the medication is effective the relief tends to be temporary. Another option is known as myectomy and is a surgical procedure where various eyelid muscles and nerves are removed. This can be helpful for around 75% of those suffering from blepharospasm.
Are There Any Alternative Options?
While there are only a few medical treatments for blepharospasm, many patients find relief from some or all of their symptoms using alternative therapies. These therapies are not proven and do not guarantee results. However many patients have found relief using some of these alternative options and they are worth considering if you are suffering from this condition. It is important to remember that every person’s body responds differently to alternative treatments. Some therapies may work wonders for some patients and then not at all for others in a similar condition. Always discuss all treatment options, including alternative therapies, you are considering with your doctor so that you can receive the best care available.
Did you know that you can train yourself to control normally involuntary eye twitching? Biofeedback is the process of learning to use your thoughts to control various body functions such as heart rate, temperature and muscle tension. If you decide to explore this option you will probably go to various biofeedback sessions. During these sessions electrodes are attached to various locations on the body to monitor your body’s response. You will then receive training from a therapist on how to control various body functions using relaxation techniques.
Acupuncture is used in ancient Chinese medicine to relieve a variety of different medical conditions. According to Chinese medicine the body has more than 2000 acupuncture points. Those trained in acupuncture will insert long needles into various points on the body. Many find that acupuncture works well in relieving chronic pain and have found this to be an effective alternative treatment for blepharospasm as well.
When a patient is placed under hypnosis they are placed into an altered state of consciousness. Then a hypnotherapist can work with the hypnotized patient by offering suggestions or recommendations that will become a part of the patient’s memory once the session is complete. It is important to note that hypnosis when performed properly is not a circus act or a trick and will not cause the patient to lose control. Instead it merely offers a way for them to become more responsive to suggestions that may offer relief for their condition.
Chiropractic care is another option that many use to find relief from eye twitching. Chiropractic care works to realign the bones and muscles in the body. It generally consists of various types of spinal manipulation to offer relief for various conditions.
These are just a few of the many alternative therapy options that may provide relief for those suffering from blepharospam.
It is always a good idea to consult with your eye doctor to discuss your options. You are also welcome to check out the growing eye twitching dicussion on our forums.
Bookmark This Eye Twitching Article! - We will continually update this article so come back and visit to check for updates!