What is the Hemifacial Spasm?
- Irregular, involuntary muscle contractions (spasms) on one side (hemi-) of the face (-facial).
- The twitching usually starts in the lower eye lid. It spreads to the whole lid, then to the lips, and the cheekbone area.
- The incidence of hemifacial spasm is approximately 0.8 per 100,000 persons.
What causes Hemifacial Spasm?
- Common reason: Compression of the seventh cranial nerve by a dolichoectatic (a distorted, dilated, and elongated) vertebral artery.
- Other reasons:
- Less than 1% of cases are caused by tumor.
- Hemifacial Spasm is more common in Asian population.
Treatments & Side Effects
- Microvascular Decompression
- 80% or more cases have good results.
- 10% recurrence rate.
- Some serious complications include cerebellar haematoma or swelling, brain stem infarction, cerebral infarction.
- Botulinum Toxin Injection
- It has a success rate equal to that of surgery.
- Repeated injections may be required every 3 to 6 months.
- Side effects include paralysis of facial muscles, and allergic reaction.
Understanding in Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM)
- “All the syndromes of trembling and dizziness caused by the wind evil are pertaining to the Liver.”
- Treatment principals: sedates the Liver, extinguishes wind, and stops spasms.
Differentiation in TCM
- Ascendant Liver yang and internal movement of Liver wind.
- Deficiency of Qi and blood.
- Wind-cold invading the body and blocking the channels.