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Hemifacial Spasm

The hemifacial spasm can range from mild to severe, and can affect one or multiple areas of the face.

Hemifacial Spasm

Hemifacial spasm is a neurological disorder characterized by the occurrence of involuntary and rhythmic contractions in the muscles of one side of the face.

This syndrome usually affects one half of the face, from the forehead to the chin, and can significantly impact the quality of life of those who suffer from it. The spasms can range from mild to severe, and can affect one or multiple areas of the face.

What are the causes of hemifacial spasm?

Hemifacial spasm can be caused by a variety of factors. In some cases, it might be a result from an injury or trauma to the brain or facial nerve. In other cases, it may be caused by an underlying neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease. Although the exact cause of hemifacial spasm remains uncertain, it's thought to be linked to a dysfunction in the basal ganglia of the brain, which control muscle movement.

What are the symptoms of hemifacial spasm?

The medical community has noted that those who suffer from hemifacial spasm may exhibit involuntary movements of facial muscles. These movements may be continuous or sporadic. They include the spasms or contractions of the facial muscles that generally:

  • Occur on one side of the face

  • Can't be controlled

  • Are painless

Often, these contractions begin in the eyelid and then progress to affect the cheek and mouth, on the same side of the face. At the beginning, hemifacial spasms are intermittent, but they usually become more constant over several months to a few years.

Along with spasms, patients may experience other symptoms, such as:

  • Pain

  • Muscle weakness

  • Fatigue

In some cases, it may affect the ability to speak or chew, which significantly impacts the quality of life.

How is hemifacial spasm diagnosed and treated?

It's typically diagnosed through an evaluation by a Neurologist and an MRI of the brain. In some cases, an electromyography may also be necessary. This measures the electrical activity in the muscles. The treatment of hemifacial spasm can include:

  • Physical therapy

  • Medication

  • Surgery

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The most common medications for treating hemifacial spasm are Anti-seizure medications (Anticonvulsant) like carbamazepine and gabapentin. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary to disconnect or remove the afflicted facial nerve.

What are the implications for individuals with hemifacial spasm?

The implications for those with hemifacial spasm vary depending on the underlying cause of the disorder and the severity of the symptoms. In general, hemifacial spasm is a chronic disorder that may affect the quality of life. However, with the appropriate diagnosis and treatment, many individuals can experience significant improvement in their symptoms.

At BlueNetHospitals, we understand how challenging living with a condition like hemifacial spasm can be, both physically and emotionally. We have a highly qualified team for various neurological conditions.

We invite you to schedule an appointment with our Neurology specialist to discuss your symptoms, concerns, and treatment options. At BlueNetHospitals, we believe in the power of personalized medical care and are ready to help you pave the path towards a healthier future.

Schedule an appointment with us.

BlueNetHospitals - Hospital Los Cabos

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