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Hemifacial spasm (HS) causes muscles to contract on one side of the face. A person cannot control the spasm.
HS does not always have a cause. It may be due to:
- A blood vessel pressing on the facial nerve
- Facial nerve injury
|Muscles of the Face|
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Problems may be:
- Twitching of the eyelid muscle that causes the eye to close
- A mouth that is pulled to one side
- Spasms of all the muscles on one side of the face
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the face.
Images of the head may be taken. This can be done with:
Nerve and muscle function may be tested. This can be done with electromyography (EMG).
The goal of treatment is to ease pressure on the nerve. This can be done with:
- Injections of botulinum toxin to temporarily stop spasms
- Antiseizure medicine
Some people may need surgery to reposition a blood vessel that is pressing on a nerve.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Organization for Rare Disorders
Canadian Movement Disorder Group
Chaudhry N, Srivrastava A, et al. Hemifacial spasm: the past, present, and future. J Neurol Sci. 2015;356(1-2):27-31.
Hemifacial spasm information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/hemifacial-spasm-information-page. Accessed October 14, 2020.
OnabotulinumtoxinA. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/onabotulinumtoxina. Accessed October 14, 2020.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
- Review Date: 09/2020
- Update Date: 06/04/2021