Botox is well known for treating facial wrinkles, but this drug is now used to treating some kind of eye problems as well. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Botox to treat diplopia, commonly known as blurred vision, as well as treating strabismus which is commonly known as crossed eyes. It is also thought to be helping in treating blepharospasm, more commonly known as eyelid spasms.
Botox occurs in a serious, yet rare form of food poisoning which is called botulism. It happens when the food is contaminated with the bacteria of Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium produces the botulinum toxin, and when people eat food that contains this toxin, it can be the cause of the muscles to become paralyzed. The botulinum toxins basically prevents the nerves in sending the signals which makes the muscles move, thus the muscles are paralyzed. The nerves can reconnect to the muscles, but it takes up to a few months before new connections have been made.
Because of the paralyzing effects that Botox has, scientists have discovered that it is medically useful in treating some types of eye diseases and problems. The paralyzing effects paralyze or relax abnormally tight muscles.
But to understand how Botox can help treating these types of eye diseases, it is also important to understand how the eye works. Both eyes have 6 muscles, and two of these muscles help the eye moving from side to side. The two muscles actually work against each other with equal strength they pull the eye in opposite directions. But in the case that one of the muscles becomes weaker than its counterpart, the stronger muscle will then pull the eye in the opposite direction, thus resulting in that the eyes will be looking in different directions. Nerve damage and strokes can also be the cause of this condition of strabismus. The muscles in the eyes are constantly contracting and when one muscle is stronger than the counterpart, there is a risk that it could permanently become tight. When Botox is used to treating strabismus, the drug is injected into the stronger muscle so it will begin to relax and based on this the weaker muscle gets a chance to recover and become stronger again.
Yet it is important not to forget that Botox will not cure the eye diseases, neither will it be a permanent treatment. Botox only works as a temporary treatment as the effects only will last a few months, where the patient will need a new shot. But before just getting a Botox treatment, thoroughly checks should be done by the doctor to make sure that no other conditions are underlying for the situation, and that Botox would be the best possible treatment for the condition.