Facial Twitching

Top Causes of Facial Twitching

Have you ever wondered what causes facial twitching?

The muscles in the face are subject to the same muscle disorders that can occur in other parts of the body, such as the trunk or limbs.

Muscle twitching, also referred to as a fasciculation, is an involuntary muscle contraction that is visible underneath the skin. There is an assortment of reasons as to why your muscles may do this and most the causes are not serious. The most common cause of facial spasms, or muscle twitching, is referred to as benign fasciculation syndrome.

There are some risk factors that exist as well. Using ethanolamines like Benadryl, Dramamine, and other of anticholinergic drugs over a long period of time can increase the risk of facial twitching. Stimulants such as pseudoephedrine, commonly found in Sudafed, albuterol, and caffeine, can also increase the risk factor for spasms and benign fasciculations.

If you have just started taking a new medication and notice twitches, then you might want to speak to your doctor about these side effects and possibly switching you to another medication or lowering your dosage until you get used to it.

Because magnesium deficiencies can also lead to fasciculations, especially after magnesium loss is suffered due to severe diarrhea, it is sometimes recommended that the individual eat foods that are rich in magnesium such as bananas and nuts. However, it is not suggested that magnesium supplements be used since they can actually worsen the diarrhea.  

Sometimes, you might notice that your eyelids are twitching or have spasms in them. This usually lasts for less than a minute, although it can be a frustrating occurrence since there is little you can do about it. Although the cause of eyelid twitching is not known, it is generally considered to be harmless. Sometimes, it is also associated with stress and fatigue, much like facial twitching can be associated with stress.

There are serious medical conditions that can cause facial twitching. These include basilar meningitis, stroke, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. However, tics sometimes occur too, especially in children, and might not have any underlying causes at all.

Sometimes, tics can carry on into adulthood. Boys are more likely to develop facial tics than girls and ¼ of all children might develop a tic at some point in time. A chronic motor tic disorder might exist in a child and cause the facial twitching, and last for years, although this is rare. Tourettes is another condition in which facial tics might be present. Although the cause of a facial tic might remain unknown, stress can sometimes aggravate it.

It used to be thought that some medications like those that are used to treat hyperactivity in children caused tics, but this has been disproven.

Most of the time, when children experience this, it can be embarrassing for them.  For that reason, it is usually better not to bring attention to it and to try to ignore it, unless the child specifically asks for help. Still, it might be beneficial to sit down with your child and answer any questions that they might have regarding the spasms and tics.

Some symptoms of facial twitching include squinting, rapid eye blinking, grimacing, wrinkling of the nose, and other spasm-like movements that are uncontrollable. In addition, grunting or constant throat clearing might also be present.

For the most part, simple facial tics or spasms do not require treatment. Sometimes, reducing stress or seeking counseling can be a way of managing them, especially if they are stress-induced. However, if they are persistent, severe, or affect other muscles as well then making an appointment with a physician can be helpful in ruling out other disorders that might be present.