Hemifacial spasm is a condition that causes involuntary contractions of the muscles on one side of the face. The disorder occurs in both men and women, usually beginning in middle age. Symptoms often begin as a twitching of the eyelid and may gradually spread to involve the muscles of the lower face. In most cases there is no apparent cause. However, this condition can also be caused by blood vessels or tumors pressing on the facial nerve.
After your ophthalmologist has ruled out other more serious underlying conditions, the most effective treatment for hemifacial spasm is the injection of botulinum toxin (Botox). In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
If botulinum toxin is the best treatment for your condition, your ophthalmologist will inject the drug into the involved facial muscles in a simple, outpatient procedure. Botulinum toxin has proven to be a safe treatment for hemifacial spasm with few side effects. The effect of the injections lasts for three to six months, so repeated treatments are necessary.