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Botulinum Toxin

Patient Information on Botulinum Toxin (Botox)

In the Eye Department it can be used either to reduce the size of a squint, or to treat double vision caused by over and under acting eye muscles. If we think you will benefit from an injection of Botox we will explain the reasons to you in more detail.

Botulinum toxin (Botox) is a chemical which stops muscles working temporarily.

How is it done ?

You will be given local anaesthetic drops to numb the surface of your eye before being given the injection which will only take a few minutes. After the injection you will also be given antibiotic eye drops and we will also give you an appointment for a check up 1-2 weeks later.

If you require an injection of Botox you will only need to come to the clinic for approximately 30 – 40 minutes (sometimes longer if you also need to be seen by the orthoptist). It is also better for someone else to come with you.

What Happens After The Injection ?

Your eye may feel slightly irritable and gritty after the injection and may also be slightly red. This normally settles after a few days. The botox injection does not work immediately and it usually takes 24 – 72 hours before any change is noticed. If you do develop double vision it can also affect your coordination for a short time.

Risks of Botox injections

If you require any further information please contact us and we will try to answer any questions you have.

The advantage of Botox is that the effect is temporary and if any these side effects occur they will wear off gradually. Usually this takes 6 -8 weeks but occasionally it can be several months before it wears off completely. If you do develop double vision this could affect your job and also your ability to drive. There is also an extremely small risk of the needle which is used to give the injection puncturing your eye and damaging your eyesight permanently.

Botox is often an effective treatment but there can be side effects which we need to discuss with you. The effect of Botox can be variable and occasionally it does not work at all. Often it does not fully correct your squint, and sometimes it can actually work too well and change the direction of your squint for a short time. It can also cause double vision to develop (horizontal and vertical) and occasionally can also cause a droopy upper eyelid.

Contact details:

Orthoptic Department 0141 211-1042

Dr C Weir, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Gartnavel General Hospital.

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Tel.: 0141 211 4692 • 169407-2

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015