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What Causes Hemifacial Spasm? (Facial Twitching)

Have you ever experienced facial twitching, involuntary blinking, or eyelid spasms?

For some, the twitching is in the eyelid. For others, it’s the lip that curls or a nose that wrinkles. If your twitching intensifies over time, it’s possible you may be experiencing a spasm caused by a small blood vessel touching a facial nerve known as a Hemifacial spasm. In this video, Dr Jaydev Panchawagh- Consultant neurosurgeon, Sahyadri Hospital is going to explain to us the Causes of Facial Twitching (Hemifacial Spasm) (Involuntary Facial Movements).

Hemifacial spasm (also called tic convulsif) is an involuntary twitching of the facial muscles on one side of the face. Since 2005, Dr Jaydev Panchwagh and team has been treating Hemifacial Spasm with a very focused aim. So lets us educate our self about this disease.

What is Hemifacial Spasm?

Hemifacial Spasm is the involuntary repetitive movements of one side of the face. Usually, it starts with the blinking of one eye (lower eyelid) and after a few days or months, the blinking spreads to the cheeks.

The disease might look funny but for the person with Hemifacial Spasm, it’s pretty difficult to deal with. As society doesn’t know much of this disease they tend to make fun of the person, which hampers the patient’s confidence. Also as the disease progresses, the patient also faces physical disabilities such as their inability to drive, watch movies, concentrate on the computer screen, or they cannot sleep (insomnia). Typically these spasms increase intense situations. This disease causes trauma to such an extent that the patient might even get suicidal thoughts. Very few people are educated about this disease.

Causes of hemifacial spasm

Hemifacial Spasm occurs due to Neurovascular conflict. Each side of the face is controlled by one facial nerve. In the case of Hemifacial Spasm, the blood vessel is placed very close to the nerve from birth. As the age increases the length of the blood vessels goes on increasing which is called ectasia. This happens in all of us.

But in this disease, as the blood vessels elongate with age it gets buried in the nerves and with each pulsation, it hits the nerve and this is called as neurovascular conflict. With each pulsation, the nerve gets damaged and as it gets damaged the spasms start. As the spasm elongates more and burrows deeper, the spasms get worst.

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    Hemifacial Spasm Treatment

    Microvascular Decompression Surgery is the treatment option for Hemifacial Spasm. Since 2005, Dr. Jaydev Panchwagh and the team have been treating Hemifacial Spasm with very focused energy along with Trigeminal Neuralgia. Dr. Panchwagh and the team have been able to give results with the help of MVD surgery.

    Other methods used as a treatment for Hemifacial Spasm are Botox which paralyzes muscles temporarily for 2 or 3 months but when this Botox effect wears out the spasms which come back are stronger than before. Therefore MVD is the best solution for Hemifacial Spasm. Hemifacial Spasm is treatable. This disease needs to be treated on time to prevent further damage.

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