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Hemifacial Spasm (HFS)

Hemifacial Spasm is a chronic condition which affects one side of the face. Patients with this condition experience involuntary contractions, or spasms, of their facial muscles on one side of the face. This makes the affected side of the face appear to "squeeze up" while the unaffected side remains normal. These spasms can be short or lengthy, and can begin with facial movement. HFS affects mainly middle aged people, with males equal to females proportionally. Spasms continue during sleep. They can increase as a result of stress or anxiety and decreased, but not resolved, by some drug therapies.

The safest and best treatment found for HFS is with injections of botulinum toxin, also known as "Botox".

Botulinum Toxin

Botulinum toxin, or "Botox", is an effective treatment for Hemifacial Spasm. The doctor injects small amounts of Botox under the skin at each affected area. It may take several days for the medication to be fully effective - relaxing and weakening the facial muscles and preventing spasms. Effects typically last for about three months and then injections must be repeated to keep spasms at bay. There are typically few side effects, but sometimes minor bruising at the incision sites and temporary lid drooping or double vision may occur.

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