Hemifacial Spasm Signs & Symptoms

Hemifacial Spasm Information

Hemifacial spasm is an involuntary contraction of one half of the face. In most cases the cause of the spasms are not harmful but they can be cosmetically undesirable or embarrassing. As with many brain conditions, pinpointing the exact cause is not always straightforward. Several tests are available to help determine the cause of the spasms. Here are some examples of tests.

Doctors use these tests to evaluate the affected nerves and muscles. In most cases hemifacial spasm is caused by a blood vessel compressing the facial nerve. This compression can then result in either irritation of the facial nerve or loss of the protective covering of the facial nerve resulting in a “short circuit” which ultimately causes the spasm.

Eye twitch or hemifacial spasm?

Twitches are involuntary actions of nerves and muscles. They can be caused by changes in brain chemistry such as overproduction of epinephrine when stressed, or caffeine intake which causes excess firing of neurons. Twitches have also been linked to lack of sleep especially drastic changes in sleep patterns.

Almost everyone has experienced eye twitches at some point. Occasional eye twitches are normal and should not be cause for alarm. If you have had large changes in caffeine use, sleep or stressors try changing these to see if the twitches go away.

Patients who do not notice a change in the twitch after making adjustments to regulate their sleep patterns and caffeine intake should consult a doctor. If your eye twitch starts affecting other areas of your face it could be a sign of a hemifacial spasm.

Hemifacial Spasm Signs

Patients who are concerned about a facial tic or eye twitch can use these signs as an indicator of when a twitch might be a sign of a more serious condition. Hemifacial spasms are characterized by:

It does not affect everyone equally. Women are more prone to them than men. Additionally, caffeine, sleep and stress are all factors that can influence facial spasm.

When To See a Doctor

It is a good idea to see a physician if your twitch starts to “move” and affect other muscles in your face. These could be indicators of a more serious condition. Patients who lose control of their facial muscles should consult a doctor immediately. If are concerned with a facial twitch ask a doctor about it. Call and set up your appointment today with Dr. Chang!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Artificial Disc Replacement vs. Spinal Fusion

Today’s spine treatments use advanced techniques to relieve chronic back pain and improve quality of life. But sometimes the types of surgery can be confusing. Here’s a quick comparison of two of the most common types of spinal surgery.

8 Helpful Things To Do Before Spine Surgery

Spine surgery can be the perfect solution to your back pain woes, but the success of your operation doesn’t entirely depend on the skill of the treating surgeon. You may also be surprised to learn that it’s not just what you do during your post-op...

Heat Sensitivity After A Traumatic Brian Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting effects on how our brain processes and interprets information. One common complaint among TBI sufferers is that they frequently feel hot or suffer from what’s known as heat sensitivity.