As we age, collagen and elastin fibers beneath the facial surface begin to break down, causing wrinkles and creases around the eyes and forehead. These wrinkles can be accentuated by squinting, frowning, smiling, exposure to sun and smoking. BOTOX®, a non-surgical, cosmetic product, is injected directly into the muscles that cause these “dynamic wrinkles.” By relaxing the muscles, BOTOX therapy helps restore a more youthful appearance.
Some of the areas where BOTOX therapy has been effective include wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet) and forehead lines and furrows, as well as the vertical creases between the eyebrows. Performed as an outpatient procedure, BOTOX injections effectively smooth out wrinkles, with results usually apparent within three to four days. The effects of the treatment typically last three to four months, at which time the injections can be repeated with continued good results.
Treatment of Facial Spastic Disorders
While widely known for its ability to remove wrinkles, BOTOX is frequently used by Ophthalmologists for the treatment of Facial Spastic Disorders. Ophthalmologists, in fact, are the most experienced administrators of BOTOX, having employed the therapy for more than a generation.
How does BOTOX work?
Botulinum toxin, or BOTOX, is a protein produced by the C. botulinum bacteria. Using a fine needle (so it causes very little discomfort), the Ophthalmologist injects the protein into the facial muscles. BOTOX actually causes muscle paralysis by blocking the electrical impulses that stimulate the muscle to move. No more stimulation—no more spasms. In most cases, the involuntary movement ceases within three days and a single treatment lasts for three months. After that time, the injections can be repeated, however, effectiveness diminishes over the years due to the buildup of antibodies. Though it is not a cure for facial spasms, BOTOX is now considered one of the best treatments available and, in most cases, is covered by insurance.
BOTOX treats a variety of spasmodic conditions.
- Benign Essential Blepharospasms—Abnormal blinking or spasms of the eyelids. This condition is characterized by uncontrollable eyelid closure of durations longer than the typical blink reflex, sometimes lasting minutes or even hours. Some sufferers have twitching symptoms that radiate into the nose, face or even the neck area.
- Progressive Spasms—With this condition, patients are unable to keep their eyes open.
- Hemifacial Spasm—Involuntary twitching of the facial muscles on one side of the face and neck. Although the twitching is usually not painful, it can be embarrassing and interfere with normal expression and vision.
- Eyelid Myokymia—Involuntary, spontaneous, localized quivering of the muscles in the eyelid. This condition can be caused by stress, lack of sleep and high caffeine intake. While these symptoms can diminish over time, for some, it does not go away. In many cases, one treatment will alleviate the symptoms.
Interestingly, many patients who were treated for spasms noticed a softening of their facial wrinkles. This discovery led to the use of cosmetic BOTOX for conditions such as crow’s feet, forehead lines, furrows and wrinkles between the eyebrows. The ophthalmologists of Campbell Cunningham Taylor & Haun are highly skilled in the cosmetic uses of BOTOX.
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