Blepharospasm is a common presentation in cats that normally indicates pain in or around the eye. Severe blepharospasm makes examination of the eye difficult and sometimes conceals severe underlying injury.
Triggers of blepharospasm are rarely life-threatening but are usually painful and require prompt veterinary attention to avoid further damage to the eye and potential blindness.
Blepharospasm is associated with a number of different conditions.
The severity of blepharospasm varies significantly depending on the severity of the underlying trigger.
Mild disease such as allergic conjunctivitis results in mild symptoms, and sometimes resolves without intervention. Injuries, such as a penetrating foreign body to the eye, results in severe pain and persistent blepharospasm.
Blepharospasm may affect one or both eyes. Injuries normally affect one eye, whereas blepharospasm of both eyes often indicates infections such as calicivirus.
Investigation of blepharospasm involves:
Treatment options vary depending on the underlying disease. Medications may be topical or systemic. Common options include:
In addition, treatment may include wound management and surgery. In severe cases, surgical removal of the eye may be necessary.