Advances in the Uses of Botulinum Toxin-A for the Treatment of Dry Eyes & Tearing By Malena Amato MD

Since 1980, Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) has been utilized for the treatment of eyelid and facial spasms and eye movement disorders (strabismus). Though more recently, Botulinum toxin A has gained popularity for the treatment of facial wrinkles.  However, dry eyes has become a known side effect when treating wrinkles around the eyes especially the lateral crows feet. This treatment can weaken the muscles that close the eyes, but also can reduce tear production from the tear gland. Many women over 40 may already have underlying dry eyes and are often warned that Botulinum toxin A treatments may worsen their condition. Symptoms of dry eyes can be minor or debilitating, and can result in burning, blurred vision, eye irritation and tearing.

Recent studies have described a newer injection technique using Botulinum toxin type A that can potentially reduce the symptoms of dry eyes in some patients.  It can also be used in some patients with excessive tearing, with careful injection into the tear gland. A complete evaluation for the underlying cause of tearing and dry eyes is essential. Dr. Amato works closely with eye doctors to improve symptoms of dry eyes and tearing with various modalities including these cutting edge injection techniques that can be performed safely in the office.