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Why Does My Face Keep Twitching?

Feb 07, 2024
Why Does My Face Keep Twitching?

Why Does My Face Keep Twitching?

At some point, you’ve most likely experienced a sudden, involuntary twitch in your face and thought nothing of it. These twitches are typically brief and harmless; however, when you experience them frequently, you may become curious about the trigger. 

There are a few reasons why your face keeps twitching. It could simply be stress, or it could be a sign that you have a more severe condition, such as hemifacial spasm

In Tampa, Florida, Dr. Phillip Henkin and our team at the NeuroSpine Center can help you figure out the underlying reason for your frequent facial twitches. With more than three decades of experience, Dr. Henkin is an expert at telling the difference between normal, occasional twitches and signs of a neurological condition.

Here, he breaks down common causes of facial twitches, when they might be a cause for concern, and how we can help diagnose and treat more serious conditions.

What causes facial twitching?

Many everyday factors can trigger facial twitches. In most cases, they are harmless and fleeting. Some of the most common such causes include:

Stress and fatigue

Your body sometimes reacts to stress by exhibiting physical symptoms like muscle cramps. If you’re not getting enough sleep or overworking certain body parts, you may experience these involuntary spasms, especially in delicate muscles like those in your face. 

Drinking too much caffeine and alcohol  

Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants that can directly impact your nervous system. Consuming them excessively can alter how your nerves function, sometimes causing muscle twitches.

Certain medication

Some medications, including certain antidepressants, can trigger facial twitching as a side effect. These drugs can affect your nervous system, causing involuntary muscle movements or face twitches.

Eye strain

Spending a lot of time on your phone or in front of your laptop can strain the muscles around your eyes. This strain can cause twitching, particularly in your eyelids.

When should you be concerned?

While most facial twitches are harmless, if you’re experiencing persistent or severe twitching, you could have an underlying neurological condition, such as hemifacial spasm. This condition causes involuntary contractions of the muscles on one side of your face. It often starts around your eye and progressively moves toward your lower face, affecting your cheek, mouth, and neck muscles.

While hemifacial spasms aren’t life-threatening, they can be uncomfortable and make forming facial expressions difficult, which may trigger mental distress.

It’s essential to distinguish between common twitches and symptoms of hemifacial spasm. Hemifacial spasms are often continuous, frequent, and intense and may progressively involve more facial muscles. While ordinary twitches are generally not painful or distracting, hemifacial spasms can become uncomfortable and disruptive.

Diagnosing and treating hemifacial spasm

At NeuroSpine Center, Dr. Henkin uses advanced diagnostic tools to differentiate hemifacial spasms from other conditions. Once he has established that you have a neurological condition, your treatment may range from medications to surgery, depending on the severity of your symptoms. 

In severe cases, Dr. Henkin may recommend a microsurgical procedure to relieve pressure on the facial nerve and ease your symptoms long-term.

While occasional twitches can be expected, persistent or severe symptoms need to be evaluated by a medical expert. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Henkin online today or call 813-534-4945 to get to the bottom of troubling facial twitching.