Hemifacial spasms are usually caused by a damaged facial nerve, which carries signals from the brain to the facial muscles. The damage can occur as a result of an injury or a tumor or it may have no discernable cause at all. Hemifacial spasms are often caused by a dislocated blood vessel that presses on the facial nerve.Hemifacial spasm can be caused by injury to the facial nerve, a tumor or blood vessel compressing the nerve, or Bell's palsy. The most common cause is compression of your facial nerve by the anterior inferior cerebellar artery where the nerve begins at your brainstem. The compression causes the nerve to misfire making your facial muscles contract. This condition is related to trigeminal neuralgia—an irritation of the fifth cranial nerve that causes severe facial pain. Both hemifacial spasm and trigeminal neuralgia are caused by nerve compression from a blood vessel, yet differ in whether the sensory nerve or motor nerve is compressed.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005