Hemifacial spasm is the involuntary repetitive movements of one side of the face. It usually starts with a sudden one eye blinking, and after some days or months, it spreads to your face.
This is a clearly demonstrative disease. Usually, these start from the lower eyelid. There is a flickering movement repeatedly in the lower eyelid. Further, it spread to the upper-eye-lid, cheeks and then the platysma muscle in the neck.
Why this disease must be taken seriously?
Though this disease might look funny for you, it might be a horrible kind of disease for the patient as society is unaware of this disease.
When you have this disease, and you are walking near your house, attending a meeting or at the reception, imagine what will happen to your confidence because of the hemifacial spasms and what other people will think about you.
Also, when the disease gets worse, you may face many physical disabilities as well. You may become unable to drive, watch movies, or concentrate on the computer screen. You may also have insomnia because as soon as you go to sleep, the hemifacial spasm will start, and you will eventually wake up.
Typically, when these spasms increase intense situations when you meet strangers or give a speech, these spasms increase their intensity.
The saddest part is some patients have also revealed that at some point of this disease, they want to commit suicide. This is the kind of trauma that it causes to the one having this disease. There are also very few people who are aware of this disease.
What is Neurovascular Conflict?
In the majority of the cases, Hemifacial spasms are caused due to Neurovascular conflict. In simple words, each side of the face is controlled by a facial nerve. Hence when you move the right side of your face, the facial nerve coming from the brain voluntarily gets activated.
When you have Hemifacial spasms, these blood vessels are positioned very near to the nerve since birth.
The length of the blood vessel increases with age and is known to be ectasia. This happens to all of us, and it is like a process of greying hair.
In older women, you can see her blood vessels because of elongation. Therefore, if the blood vessel is near the nerve and it gets elongated, it will bury deep into the nerve. Because of the pulsation in the blood vessels, it keeps on hitting hard to the nerves.
Hence it is a conflict between the nerves and the blood vessels, thus giving it a name as neurovascular conflict. With each hammering during the conflict, the nerve tends to get more damaged. As the damage increases, the spasms also start. With the increase in age, the vessel elongates further, and it gets deepened into the nerves more, making the spasms worse.
This is the cause of the hemifacial spasms among the majority of the people who have neurovascular conflict.
The surgery for this Hemifacial spasm is known as Microvascular Decompression, is well-known because of many reasons.
Since this surgery was not practised properly by a dedicated team, the results were also not that great. But now, with a dedicated team and advanced technologies, the success rate of this result has reached 99%. The change that the success rate created brought a wonderful smile to the face of the patients.
People who are shy and afraid to go out of their house and speak to others suddenly became more and more confident.
Doctors want to share this experience with as many people as possible so that people become much more aware and educated, and they opt for the treatment. This can also result in the cure of this disease.
Other methods of treatment
The other treatment method is the Botox technique which tends to give temporary relief to the patient as it paralyses the muscles of the patients for a temporary two or three months. It is similar to applying a bandage on the deep wound.
After the botox masked the spasms for two to three months, it again started to reappear. But this technique is not treating the wound.
Not only that, but while you are under the effect of botox, the blood vessels which are elongating and further going deep into the nerve will keep on doing so.
Hence when the botox effect wears out, the effect of the spams will be even stronger. So it is just the way to alleviate the disease from the outside while it keeps on increasing from the inside.
The bottom line
According to experienced doctors, MVD is regarded as the best solution. Hemifacial spasm should be cured without wasting much time and taken lightly.
Many people might tell you that it is a normal spasm, but you will experience the big deal out of it. Your whole life might get entirely affected by this. You need to understand this fact and give them the option of this treatment.
Everybody must be educated with this information as specific work is going on, and everybody is entitled to know this. Hemifacial spasms should be treated and must be treated.
The final decision, of course, lies with the patient but always remember this problem should be treated without wasting much time.