Many patients have never even heard of hemifacial spasm until they or a family member are diagnosed with it. Here are some of the common questions we're asked about hemifacial spasm:
Do Botox injections really work for hemifacial spasm?
Temporarily, yes. An injection of botulinum toxin (Botox) causes a small, partial paralysis of the muscle and stops the spasm. The paralysis is temporary, so injections need to be repeated approximately every six months. See more about Diagnosing and Treating Hemifacial Spasm.
What causes hemifacial spasm?
Hemifacial spasm is caused by any one of a number of possible irritants to the seventh cranial nerve, but it’s most frequently caused by a small blood vessel (usually an artery) compressing the facial nerve at the brainstem. Find out more about Hemifacial Spasm.
How is hemifacial spasm treated?
Injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) can provide temporary relief, but the permanent solution is usually microdecompression surgery. See more about Diagnosing and Treating Hemifacial Spasm.
Reviewed by: Philip E. Stieg, PhD, MD
Last reviewed/last updated: April 2021
Illustration by Thom Graves, CMI