Can Botox Help Your Eye Condition?
Botox injections aren't just a good idea if you want to look younger. The injections are also helpful in treating a variety of eye conditions.
The Botox Effect
Botox injections block nerve impulses that control muscle contractions. As a result, the muscle no longer moves. The effect is temporary and usually lasts about three to four months. Botox injections are safe and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Botox Can Stop Eyelid Spasms
Benign essential blepharospasm, a condition that causes spasms in your eyelids, can be improved with Botox treatment. Blepharospasm can affect anyone, but it's more common in women ages 40 to 60, according to the National Eye Institute.
Although an occasional eyelid spasm is nothing more than an annoyance, frequent spasms interfere with your vision. If you have blepharospasm, you may find it difficult to drive, watch TV, read, or work. Injecting Botox into your eyelid muscles offers a simple way to relieve your spasms.
Retracted Eyelids Respond Well to Botox Treatment
Graves disease, a thyroid-related condition, can cause the eyelids to retract, exposing more of your eyes. Overproduction of the thyroid hormone can lead to eye problems, in addition to weight loss, weak muscles, fast heartbeat, irritability, trouble sleeping, and goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland).
Your eyelids protect your eyes and help keep them moist. When your eyelids begin to retract, you may experience dry eye, redness, and a gritty feeling in your eyes. You may also be more likely to develop corneal ulcers, painful sores that form on the clear, rounded layer of tissue that covers your iris and pupil.
Botox injections weaken the muscles that control your eyelids, allowing them to relax.
Strabismus Symptoms May Improve After Botox Treatment
Strabismus, or "crossed eyes," occurs when your eyes aren't aligned properly. One or both eyes might turn inward, outward, up, or down. Strabismus can cause double vision, blurry vision, and depth perception problems, even if you only have a mild misalignment. Without treatment, you're more likely to develop amblyopia (lazy eye), a condition that occurs when the eye ignores the information from one eye.
Misaligned eyes may be caused by a problem with your eye muscles or the center in the brain that controls the movements of the muscles. Weakening one or more of the muscles with Botox injections offers a simple, non-surgical way to improve eye alignment.
Other Eye Conditions That Can Be Helped with Botox
Your ophthalmologist may recommend Botox to treat other eye conditions, including:
- Hemifacial Spasms. These spasms affect one side of the face, including the eye. Botox injections stop the spasms, ending the bothersome symptoms.
- Bell's Palsy. Bell's palsy occurs when one side of the face droops due to paralysis or weakness caused by nerve damage. Botox injections are helpful if your eyes are abnormally watery due to the condition.
- Migraines. Migraines can cause visual disturbances called auras before the headache pain starts. Botox injections reduce the number or severity of migraines you get, helping you avoid auras.
- Sagging Eyelids. As you get older, your upper eyelids may begin to sag and protrude over your eyes, interfering with your vision. Botox can relieve minor sagging, although you may need surgery to correct severe sagging.
- Tourette's Syndrome. Botox can also be helpful if you have uncontrollable eye movements due to your Tourette's syndrome tics.
Could Botox improve your eye condition? Contact our office to schedule an appointment to find out if the treatment could benefit you.
National Eye Institute: Blepharospasm
MedPage Today: Botox-Type Drugs Can Treat Many Eye Conditions
American Academy of Ophthalmology: Clinical Uses of Botulinum Toxin in Ophthalmology
American Academy of Ophthalmology: Eyelid Spasm and Twitching Treatment, 9/22/20