Purpose: Benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) generally is considered a disorder of adults; however, it rarely can present in childhood or adolescence. The main purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of BEB in children and adolescents. Our research question was whether blepharospasm is seen in children or adolescents as well as in the adult population. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review at the University of Utah and Johns Hopkins University. We reviewed our databases for diagnoses of blepharospasm and tic disorder over the past 10 years in patients of all ages. Charts then were reviewed to confirm the diagnosis, and a questionnaire was sent to subjects whose blepharospasm had apparently begun before age 20 years. Results: We identified 26 patients diagnosed with eyelid spasms that had begun while under the age of 20. We confirmed BEB in four of these cases. Of these individuals, all had developed symptoms in adolescence or before and all were still symptomatic but had noted improvement in the severity and frequency of their symptoms. Conclusions: Although rare, BEB can develop in the first decade of life, producing symptoms and signs that are similar to adults, with persistence into adulthood.
- Benign essential blepharospasm
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology