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Facial Twitching

Facial Twitching

Facial twitching is normal, and in most cases, it may be triggered by stress. However, if the same condition keeps recurring or worsens with time, then it may indicate severe conditions in the body.
Aastha Dogra
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Some common symptoms that may occur with facial twitching include eye blinking or eyelid twitching, mouth twitching, squinting, grunting, nose wrinkling and grimacing. Although most cases of facial twitching are short-lived and go away on their own, yet, sometimes, it may continue for days. It is in these circumstances that identifying the cause behind facial twitching and undertaking a treatment for the same becomes imperative.
What May Cause Twitches in Your Face?
One of the primary reasons is stress and anxiety. A person who is under some sort of mental stress, may experience facial twitching for a short period of time.
Physical stress or muscle fatigue, resulting from excess of physical activities can cause this too.
Certain medication may produce this as one of the side effects.
Intake of large quantities of caffeine.
In adults, facial twitching which is accompanied by severe pain, restricted to just one side, could be due to facial neuralgia. Although the exact cause of facial neuralgia has yet not been identified, but in most cases this condition is caused by a damaged nerve.
Hemifacial spasms, a condition which is caused by a chronic irritation of the nerves of the face, resulting from underlying conditions such as the blood vessels putting pressure on the facial nerves, occurrence of tumors, multiple sclerosis plaque, stroke or basilar meningitis, causes facial twitching.
In the elderly, Parkinson's disease may trigger facial twitching.
Facial twitching in children, is usually short-lived, and affects boys more than girls. Stress, anxiety and fatigue, are the main causes of facial twitching in children. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the nervous system, causes this problem in children too.
A deficit diet, which does not provide the body with the required nutrients can cause this condition. Magnesium deficiency in children is known to trigger facial twitching in them.
How Can You Get Relief from it?
Diet and Massage
Facial twitching caused due to a deficient diet, can be treated by taking a healthy, balanced diet, accompanied by mineral supplements. Potassium, calcium and magnesium affect the brain cells and nerve directly, so their intake should be in accordance with the body's requirement. Otherwise, the right amount of proteins, vitamins, fiber and iron is a must in the diet, to avoid any kind of deficiency in the body.
Physical stress and fatigue triggered facial twitching can be overcome by undertaking massages. Ideally, a physical therapist or a professional masseur should be hired for this. Also, researches have shown that vitamin B is known to calm our nervous system, so mental stress induced facial twitching can be taken care off by increasing intake of foods rich in vitamin B such as banana, avocados, potatoes, legumes, oats, liver and tuna. Make these foods a part of everyday diet to overcome this problem.
Herbs
Alternative treatments such as taking herbs, which treat problems related to the nervous system, also help. Chamomile, passion-flower, St. John's Wort and Skull cap are herbs which a person suffering from facial twitching should take to minimize it. Of course, a herbalist should always be consulted before opting for any of these herbs as a treatment for facial twitching.
Medication
For treating facial twitching and numbness caused due to hemifacial spasm, doctors prescribe medicines such as gabapentin, phenytoin and carbamazepine. Another treatment option are Botulinum Injections, which temporarily paralyze the facial muscles, providing relief from facial twitching. The benefits of this treatment last for a few months, after which this treatment has to be repeated again. In children, it can be controlled by providing them with a stress free environment. In some cases, where children experience uncontrollable facial twitching, medicines such as risperdal, may be recommended by doctors.
Facial twitching caused due to stress or deficiency in diet is generally short-lived and can be minimized by making a few dietary and lifestyle changes. However, the one caused by neuralgia and hemifacial spasms, requires immediate medical attention. If facial twitching caused by these two medical conditions is not treated by medication and botulinum injections, microvascular decompression surgery is suggested as the last resort by doctors. Although this surgery is known to treat facial twitching in about eighty percent of the patients, the risks associated with it such as permanent facial weakness and loss of hearing, have to be considered and discussed with the surgeon, before opting for it.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.