What are facial spasms?

Facial spasms are abnormal muscle contractions in the face. Repeated facial spasms, also called tics, are often seen in children, particularly boys. In many cases, the cause of facial spasms is not known. In other cases, facial spasms may be related to seizures, medication side effects, chronic motor disorders, or Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements and vocalizations.

Facial Problems Spotlight

Common types of facial spasms include rapid, repetitive squinting or blinking, grimacing, mouth twitching, and nose twitching. Often, facial spasms will go away with time. They generally do not lead to complications or require treatment. Facial spasms may be related to stress, so eliminating stress or undertaking a stress management program may improve facial spasms. In some cases, medical intervention may be beneficial.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if facial spasms occur in combination with a seizure, loss of consciousness, paralysis or inability to move a body part, or difficulty breathing.

If your facial spasms are persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with facial spasms?

Facial spasms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Neurological symptoms that may occur along with facial spasms

Facial spasms may accompany other symptoms affecting the nervous system including:

CAUSES

What causes facial spasms?

Often, the cause of facial spasms is not known. They may be the symptom of a transient tic disorder, chronic motor tic disorder, or Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements and vocalizations. In serious cases, facial spasms may be related to seizures or epilepsy.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles


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