Blepharospasm and Hemifacial Spasm
Blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm are conditions that can be challenging to diagnose and manage. Statistically, these are not considered rare disorders. However, a high rate of underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis often results in the suboptimal management of patients. The key step in advancing the management of these conditions is therefore increasing awareness and knowledge among treating physicians. A renowned ophthalmologist and founding chair of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Dr Ed Norton was often quoted saying “you cannot diagnose that which you do not know.” Even today, in the case of blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm, not enough ophthalmologists know enough about these conditions. This focused issue of International Ophthalmology Clinics will be of tremendous value to the medical community by providing a pertinent and practical primer to the management of blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm. In addition to the traditional topics of diagnosis and management, included in this issue are also articles on the history of blepharospasm in the medicine, secondary blepharospasm associated with ocular surface disorders, spasmic dysphonia, and on the history of the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation (BEBRF). The latter is of particular interest as the BEBRF has become the driving force over the past 30+ years in supporting research and patient advocacy. Dr Richard Anderson provides unique insight in how the determination and dedication of his patient, Mattie Lou Koster, led to the formation and growth of the BEBRF.
I am extremely indebted to the contributing authors, all recognized experts in their respective fields, for their contributions. After reading through their manuscripts, I believe that this issue will be valuable single-source reference for ophthalmologists treating blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm patients. I hope the readership also finds this issue to be a timely and useful resource for their practices.