|Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Treatment
Botulinum Toxin or ‘Botox’, as it is commonly called today, is well known for its ability to smooth out facial wrinkles. However it was originally developed to assist specialists in the treatment of squints. Often all that is a required is a simple injection as an outpatient procedure to correct many unsightly turns of the eyes.
Botox is a complex protein applied to alleviate muscle spasm or to weaken a muscle for therapeutic purposes. It is a proven alternative to surgery to realign the eyes of selected patients with congenital or acquired squints. Botox is particularly effective in correcting the in-turning of the eyes (esotropia) of small to moderate angles. Botox may also prevent the contracture of opposing eye muscles in cases of eye muscle palsy. It may stimulate enough recovery to permit the restoration of single binocular vision. Repeated studies have proven that this is a very safe and effective treatment.
Botox is injected into the target muscle by means of a very fine needle and is undertaken by a specialist in squint problems: a doctor or specialist ophthalmologist. The patient feels a pinprick and generally all that is needed are local anesthetic drops. The benefits of the toxin begin to be noticed a day or two after the treatment and typically last three to four months. The treatment can then be repeated. All effects of the toxin ultimately reverse with time, although in some patients the ’re-alignment’ may be long lasting.
In some cases, patients may experience some mild side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, mild headaches or slight pain at the injection site. Such reactions are generally transitory, well tolerated, and quickly reversed. Women in pregnancy and lactation, or people with blood clotting disorders should not take Botox.
You are advised to consult your specialist in squints before undertaking any Botox treatment.