- Blepharospasm is uncontrollable blinking as a result of repeated involuntary orbicularis oculi contraction.
- It is always bilateral, but may briefly be unilateral at onset. It subsides when asleep.
Blepharospasm is either:
- idiopathic, or
- due to an irritative lesion of the lid or eye (e.g. blepharitis, dry eyes, corneal foreign body)
- hemifascial spasms —
idiopathic or a brainstem lesion; may need an MRI
- eyelid myokymia —
that funny lower eyelid twitch you get when you’re stressed and tired!
- Tourette syndrome —
tics and coprolalia
- Tic doloroux —
CN5 distribution pain associated with wincing
- tardive dyskinesia —
dyskinesia is not limited to the eyelids
- apraxia of eyelid opening —
e.g. Parkinsons; there is no muscle spasm, instead there is failure to voluntarily open the eyes
References and Links
- Ophthalmology Befuddler 004 — The Man Who Blinked too Much
Journal Articles and Textbooks
- Ehlers JP, Shah CP, Fenton GL, and Hoskins EN. The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease (5th edition). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.