Dear Doctors: I’ve recently been diagnosed with benign essential blepharospasm. Would you please explain what this is? How serious is it? Does it spread? I know it’s not deadly, but I’ve read that it can be debilitating, and I’m a little concerned about my future.

Dear Reader: Benign essential blepharospasm, often shortened to BEB, is a neurological disorder that causes spasms in the muscle that closes the eyelids. Known as the orbicularis oculi, it’s a sphincter muscle made up of concentric bands around the upper and lower eyelids. When the muscle contracts, the eyelid closes.

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Aaaargh more mental pictures I’m stuck with forever, thanks

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