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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Health Watch: What is Blepharospasm and How Can You Treat It?

This is a guest post from our site supporters.

Recent studies show that about 5 of every 100,000 people suffers from Blepharospasms. According to the National Eye Institute, Blepharospasms is defined as neurological condition that produces the forcible closure and spasms movements of the eyelids. Blepharospasms affects mostly women between their late 40s and mid 50s.

As a health-centered individual, it’s absolutely critical to understand what Blepharospasms is, what the symptoms are and what treatments are best used to suppress the effects of this disease.

What Causes Blepharospasms?
The cause for Blepharospasms is still unknown. However, doctors that have studied this disease know exactly how it works. This disease is associated with the abnormal function of the basal ganglion, a section of the brain that’s located at the base of the forebrain, since this particular section of the brain controls muscle movement.

Although there have not been concrete answers to why Blepharospasms occur, some doctors have made educated guesses that this disease could be caused by drugs used to treat muscle spasms, hormone treatments (i.e. too much estrogen) and genetics. In rare occasions, Blepharospasms have been reported to have appeared after a concussion.

What Are the Symptoms?
With some diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, there’s usually warning signs that helps people identify the problem in order to treat it before it becomes uncontrollable. Blepharospasms, however, happens without warning. There are no pre-symptoms. When it hits, you, you’ll start feeling a gradual increase in eye irritation and continuous blinking. Some people also experience extreme fatigue, sensitivity to bright light and emotional tension.

Once the symptoms begin, they can get worse and occur frequently. Along with eyelid spasms, those that suffer of Blepharospasms will also have face spasms within the nose, cheek and neck area. The episodes may occur at any moment, whether you’re awake or sleeping, which makes it an extremely uncomfortable to live with. It can have a direct impact on normal life.

How is It Treated?
You really have to do your research when you’re looking for a comprehensive and natural blepharospasm treatment. Don't immediately assume you need surgery, as there are more natural solutions. There are a variety of general treatments offered to people that suffer from Blepharospasms:

~Drug therapy is the most common method for controlling Blepharospasms, however, results may vary. Some studies have shown that drug therapy for this disease has proved to be short-termed and unpredictable.
~Glasses are also used to decrease the frequency of episodes and the discomfort caused by light sensitivity.
~New studies suggest that certain coffee beans, specifically Java, is great way to prevent sever, eyelid spasms for people with Blepharospas since they help block adenosine receptors. It's one of the few natural solutions for this ailment.
~A cause for episodes is stress. Therefore, many that suffer from Blepharospasms will often use stress management therapy in order to find ways to deal with negative emotions, therefore decreasing episode frequency. Spasms as a result of stress may also be controlled through the use of aromatherapy. Certain oils, botanicals and scents help keep both stress and spasms at bay.
~Botox, a frequently used neurotoxin for cosmetic purposes, has been found to be one of the best treatments for Blepharospasms. Normally, Botox is injected in the general area of facial spasms, thus paralyzing the contracting muscle tissue. Botox injections are usually administered every three months, which means that this particular treatment could cost you more than traditional treatments.
~There is also a surgical option for those that want to treat the disease in one fell swoop. The specific procedure is called protractor myectomy, which constitutes the removal of the muscles responsible for eyelid closure.

Blepharospasms can happen to anyone. By understanding the symptoms of this disease, you can identify it and better adapt to its effects. This way, you’ll know exactly what steps to take after diagnosis. It definitely helps to be health-conscious.


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