*

Definition  

Hemifacial spasm is a neuromuscular disorder that causes frequent involuntary contractions to occur in the muscles on one side of the face.

*
Muscles of the Face  
Muscles of the Face

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes  

Hemifacial spasm doesn't always have a specific cause. It may occur as a result of:

  • A blood vessel pressing on the facial nerve
  • Tumor
  • Facial nerve injury
  • Bony or other abnormalities that compress the nerve
*

Risk Factors  

Hemifacial spasm is more common in middle-aged and elderly women. It is also more common in Asians.

*

Symptoms  

  • Intermittent twitching of the eyelid muscle
  • Forced closure of the eye
  • Spasms of the muscles of the lower face
  • Mouth pulled to one side
  • Continuous spasms involving all the muscles on one side of the face
*

Diagnosis  

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:

  • Electromyography (EMG)—records electrical activity generated in muscle while contracting and relaxing
  • Angiography —uses contrast material to see blood vessels

Images of internal body structures may be taken with an MRI scan or CT scan .

*

Treatment  

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.