Botulinum Toxin injections are commonly recommended for the treatment of blepharospasm. This is because the toxin relaxes the twitching eye muscles for 3-6 months. Systemic side effects using botulinum toxin are very rare, and it is effective for most patients. Since the injection only temporarily treats the condition, the injections must be repeated to control the disease and is not a cure.
BOTOX, the most well-known botulinum toxin, is the most commonly used for blepharospasm relief. The side effects are rare but can include possible ptosis, inability to close the lids with drying or irritation, and on a rare occasion, blurred or double vision.
Other botulinum toxins such as Dysport and Xeomin have also been used successfully for eye spasms. Xeomin contains “naked” proteins. Therefore, when BOTOX treatments do not work for eye spasm relief, Xeomin may be a great alternative to BOTOX and may reduce the incidences of Botox not working.
Xeomin has now been specifically approved by the FDA to treat blepharospasm. We are now conducting an observational research study that will help us to further determine patient satisfaction with Xeomin for eye spasm treatment. Patients who are candidates for this procedure will be invited to enter the study and will be compensated for completing the questionnaires. To find out if you’re a candidate, click here to submit a simple form, and a coordinator will contact you.
There are also two types of operative surgery for eye twitching relief. One involves destruction of the nerve to the muscles. This provides relief, but at times the relief is incomplete and the condition recurs. A different surgical procedure involves removal of the muscles, which go into spasm. This may provide considerable relief but is a major surgical procedure and the results are somewhat variable.
Side effects of surgical procedures include widening or drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis), temporary inability to fully close the eyelid (which may result in some drying or irritation of the eye), and rarely, blurred vision or loss of vision.
We have found Xeomin to be effective for treatment of blepharospasm as well as for cosmetic uses (off label).