Hemifacial spasm is a neuromuscular disorder that causes involuntary spasms of the muscles on one side of the face. The spasms or tics usually occur on the left side and can last throughout the day and even during sleep. Hemifacial spasm affects approximately 11 out of every 100,000 people. Men and women can develop the condition, but women middle-aged and older are twice as likely to get hemifacial spasms. People of Asian descent have a slightly higher risk, as well.
The first symptom of hemifacial spasm is usually twitching in the muscles of the left eyelid. Spasms can be strong enough to cause tears and to force the eye to close. The spasms are usually isolated to only one side of the face, but some people develop them symmetrically. People usually start to develop symptoms of hemifacial spasm between the ages of 40 and 50.
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