Benign Essential Blepharospasm and Meige Syndrome

  1. Who knows what this is?

    I do.

    My husband has been functionally blind for 9 months. Slowly he began grimacing blinking rapidly and then his lower face started grimacing, lips pursing, chin protruding. He had cataract surgery 9 months ago and his ophthalmologist seemed not to understand what was happening.

    Finally I asked for a neurological referral. Guess what- next hall over in their office was a neuro-ophthalmologist. He took a few minutes to test and then said you have Meige's syndrome. The treatment is injection about the eyelids and brows with Botox. For the first time in a year my DH was able to read a typewritten name. His vision is 20/30, but by blinking so often he never was able to form a clear image and for all purposes blind. He will have to have Botox every 3 months from now on. Tonight I saw his eyes open and their beautiful blue looking at me.

    What concerns me greatly is this treatment has been around for at least 16 years in this same office. WHY didn't the first doctor know about it? I am just this much short from raising heck there.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 1, '10
  2. Visit P_RN profile page

    About P_RN

    Joined: May '00; Posts: 14,480; Likes: 2,297
    RN-i (RETIRED); from US


  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    please send a professionally worded letter to the 1st eye doctor re concerns over missed diagnosis --needs some updated education. your husbands experience just helped educate rn's on this condition: first time i've heard of it.

    info from blepharospasm research foundation


    what are the early symptoms of benign essential blepharospasm?
    • dry eyes
    • light sensitivity
    • occasional increased blinking, winking or squinting
    • first symptoms are often noticed when driving!
    what is blepharospasm?
    blepharo means "eyelid". spasm means "uncontrolled muscle contraction". the term blepharospasm ['blef-a-ro-spaz-m] can be applied to any abnormal blinking or eyelid tic or twitch resulting from any cause, ranging from dry eyes to tourette's syndrome to tardive dyskinesia. the blepharospasm referred to here is officially called benign essential blepharospasm (beb) to distinguish it from the less serious secondary blinking disorders. "benign" indicates the condition is not life threatening, and "essential" is a medical term meaning "of unknown cause". it is both a cranial and a focal dystonia. cranial refers to the head and focal indicates confinement to one part. the word dystonia describes abnormal involuntary sustained muscle contractions and spasms. patients with blepharospasm have normal eyes. the visual disturbance is due solely to the forced closure of the eyelids.

    blepharospasm usually begins gradually with excessive blinking and/or eye irritation.
    as the condition progresses, the spasms may intensify so that when they occur, the patient is functionally blind; and the eyelids may remain forcefully closed for several hours at a time.

    what treatments are available for benign essential blepharospasm?
    • botulinum toxin injections
    • medical (drug) treatment
    • surgery (myectomy)
    video: diagnosis & treatment with botox of patients with benign essential blepharospasm & related disorders

    meige's syndrome oral facial dystonia

    let us know how his treatment is progressing!
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 1, '10