Home > Conditions > Hemifacial Spasm
Hemifacial spasm is a nervous system disorder that causes uncontrollable spasms of the facial muscles. It results from uncontrolled contractions of the muscles of the face and is caused by compression of the facial nerve at the brainstem, usually by a displaced artery or vein.
Hemifacial Spasm Symptoms:
Hemifacial spasm is characterized by a twitching or spasm in the facial muscles. Though it is not a medical emergency, the spasms can become severe and cause discomfort in patients. The most common symptoms of hemifacial spasm include:
- Eyelid twitches
- Mouth twitches, which can cause the mouth to pull down on one side
- Facial twitching localized to one side of the face
- Changes in hearing
Though most patients only experience spasms on one side of the face, some may experience twitching on both sides. In addition, ear pain or a clicking sound in the ear can be symptoms of hemifacial spasm. Hemifacial spasm is more common in women than men and typically affects those over 50. An MRI is the most common way to diagnose hemifacial spasm.