Sunday, January 6, 2013


When you hear the word Botox, cosmetic surgery quickly pops into your mind.  But Botox originally was originally approved by the FDA for medical conditions.  In the 1960's, an ophthalmologist in San Francisco, Alan Scott, pioneered work using Botox for crossed eyes and for a rare condition called blepharospasm.  I have treated Blepharospasm for over twenty years, and it continues to be a strange disease that troubles one person out of every 20,000.

Imagine losing control over your facial muscles.  People with blepharospasm have twitching of the muscles around both eyes and end up blinking uncontrollably.  Sometimes it is so bad that they can't even open their eyes.  Stress, lights, or other irritants can set off these spasms.  Since we normally talk with other people by looking them in the eye, this constant blinking and twitching causes embarrassment and distracts from everyday interactions.  Before the discovery that Botox can stop this twitching, these patients sometimes endured surgery where the muscles that cause blinking were removed from the face.
Today, we have effective treatment that improves the quality of life for all these patients.  Unfortunately, it sometimes takes years before they are referred to the proper specialists.

Recently, the CDC has recommended that all patients who receive Botox get a freshly mixed bottle and that multiple people should NOT be treated from the same bottle to avoid any chance of contamination.  At Dupage Ophthalmology, we are experts in treating hemifacial spasm and blepharospasm with Botox.