Almost everyone has heard of Botox as a treatment for wrinkles and other cosmetic concerns. What you may not know is that Botox started as a medical treatment for eye spasms, and then it was FDA-approved for cosmetic treatments. If you have hemifacial spasms, Botox injections may be the best way to control your spasms and get relief.
Hemifacial spasm occurs when there is damage or compression of the 7th cranial nerve. This can occur for many reasons, from head injuries to arteries or vascular formations pressing on the nerve. This nerve compression results in spasms on one side of the face, usually starting near the eye and drifting downward. The twitching muscles can be very aggravating, and the condition tends to become worse over time.
If you have hemifacial spasm, it can affect your quality of life. While not life-threatening, it does take its toll on your self-confidence. This condition usually starts as occasional twitching in one area, then gradually moves across one side of the face. Eventually, it can occur almost constantly. There is no cure for hemifacial spasm, but Botox injections can be very helpful for controlling this condition. It is a minimally-invasive treatment that can be performed in a quick office visit.
How Botox Helps Facial Spasms
Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin that is released by the bacterium that causes botulism. This is a neurotoxin that impacts the communication of nerve signals to muscles. Botox was first approved for the treatment of eye spasms and crossed eyes. When targeted into the muscles that cause these conditions, it temporarily paralyzes them and helps relieve the condition. Botox now has been FDA-approved for many medical treatments, including for hemifacial spasm.
Botox injections are placed into the affected muscles to control the spasms and twitching that occur with hemifacial spasm. Depending on the severity of your condition, there may be several injections performed to affect various muscles. This can relax the muscles and also help weaken their strength, which can help with long-term control of spasms.
Botox has been safely used for over 30 years as a medical treatment. The procedure is performed at our clinic and there is no downtime needed after the treatment. Botox takes a few days to begin blocking nerve signals to the muscles, but the effects can last for up to six months. Most patients with hemifacial spasm will need multiple treatments per year to control their spasms. This may be combined with other treatments that can help minimize the severity of hemifacial spasm symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with hemifacial spasm or believe you have this condition, contact our team at New York Facial Paralysis. We offer various treatments for hemifacial spasm, including Botox injections. If medical treatments are not effective, we also have surgical options that may relieve symptoms. To schedule your appointment, call our clinic in NYC.