Facial muscle spasms: an Australian study.

A group of patients suffering from blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm and Meige's syndrome were surveyed to determine the delay from the onset of their condition until a correct diagnosis was reached, the attitudes of practitioners towards them and their condition, the effect of their condition on their lifestyle and the effects of different types of treatment on their conditions.
Questionnaires were offered to all patients with blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm and Meige's syndrome presenting to three ophthalmologists licensed to treat patients with botulinum toxin injections over a 12 month period.
Patients consulted an average of 4.4 practitioners before a correct diagnosis was made and many waited a number of years before obtaining satisfactory treatment. Approximately two-thirds of all practitioners consulted were unaware of their condition. Ten per cent of patients reported a family history of similar conditions. Most patients received relief from their symptoms with treatment using injections of botulinum toxin. More than 55% of patients considered themselves to have psychological problems (usually relating to stress and trauma) that they associated with the onset of their condition.
Facial muscle dystonias are rare and patient experiences suggest that they are poorly appreciated in the medical community. From the time they first see a practitioner with symptoms of facial dystonia, patients typically wait 2 years and see four practitioners before a correct diagnosis is made. Stress may be a factor in the symptomatic onset of this condition. Many patients describe pain as part of the presenting symptomatology. Botulinum toxin seems to be effective in the management of facial spasm.
AuthorsL Kowal, R Davies, P M Kiely
JournalAustralian and New Zealand journal of ophthalmology (Aust N Z J Ophthalmol) Vol. 26 Issue 2 Pg. 123-8 (May 1998) ISSN: 0814-9763 [Print] AUSTRALIA
PMID9630292 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Blepharospasm (diagnosis, drug therapy, psychology)
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A (therapeutic use)
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Hemifacial Spasm (diagnosis, drug therapy, psychology)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meige Syndrome (diagnosis, drug therapy, psychology)
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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