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Can Migraines Cause Facial Twitches

Eye Twitching And Headaches

Eye twitch. Facial Twitching.

Eye twitching is a normal response of the body to stress and so are headaches. However, in some people, these two conditions may have causes way more severe than just stress. Know about these two symptoms in greater detail from what follows.

Eye twitching is a normal response of the body to stress and so are headaches. However, in some people, these two conditions may have causes way more severe than just stress. Know about these two symptoms in greater detail from what follows.

Eye twitching is defined as the incessant and involuntary blinking of the eye of an individual. When accompanied by a headache, it can put life out of gear. Following may be the possible causes of eye twitching and headaches.

Can Anxiety Cause Facial Muscles To Twitch

Facial spasm or muscle twitching can be caused by anxiety. Theres no doubt that stress or being anxious has the ability to cause cheek muscles to contract involuntarily. It could be mild or severe, but this is incredibly common.

Muscles twitch is an indication of anxiety especially if you are under distress. Stress puts your muscles and nerves under tension causing the involuntary contraction of cheek muscles.

Which Children Are At Risk For Headaches

A child is more at risk for headaches if he or she has any of the following:

  • Stress

  • Recurrent episodes of vomiting without nausea or other signs of a stomach virus

  • A very young child with a headache

  • A child that is awakened by the pain of a headache

The symptoms of headaches can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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Eye Symptoms Of Migraine

A couple presentations of migraine can mess with your eyes:

Migraine with visual aura

This is your stereotypical migraine episode, where you see all kinds of special effects darting across the room in front of your eyes.

Those are known as auras, and they affect less than 25 percent of people with migraine. Look out for zigzag lines, blurry vision, and all that fun stuff.

Retinal migraine

This type causes shapes and flashing lights to shoot across your vision, but it can also cause a temporary loss of vision in one eye, which is a scary experience.

Research suggests that 50 percent of people completely lose the use of one eye for the duration of the migraine episode. Yikes. But dont worry it shouldnt last longer than an hour.

But you might also be confusing migraine with a headache.

Causes Of Facial Twitching

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Facial twitching is a very common occurrence. It could be because of fatigue, stress, bright lighting, caffeine excess, alcohol intake, and even a strong wind.

But if the facial twitching happens very frequently, it could be because of a condition called hemifacial spasm. And, it is commonly seen in adults over 40.As the name suggests, the condition is caused by spasms on one side of the face. It happens when the facial nerve on the affected side is compressed or irritated due to inflammation, injury, or a tumor.

But, in some cases, there may not be any apparent cause. This is known as idiopathic hemifacial spasm.

The most common symptom of hemifacial spasms is twitching on one side of the face, as pressure on the facial nerve affects muscle control. While the spasms may or may not be accompanied by pain, the twitches could hamper clear vision and speech.

In a typical hemifacial spasm, the muscles around the eyes are affected first, followed by muscles of the lower face. However, at times, the order of appearance could be reversed.

Again, the twitches can be triggered by extreme fatigue and stress. And in many cases, the spasmodic episodes overlap and become one continuous twitch marathon.

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Living With Vestibular Migraine

For almost all patients, the combination of a healthy lifestyle, medication and vestibular physiotherapy will lead to good recovery from migraines and resumption of normal activities.

Lifestyle changes that reduce or prevent migraines in some people include:

  • regular exercise
  • consistent sleep patterns
  • stress management
  • weight loss program being overweight may increase the chance of getting episodes of vestibular migraine. If relevant, you should discuss this with your doctor.

Taking The Pressure Off A Nerve

When pain results from an abnormally positioned artery pressing on a cranial nerve, the pain can be relieved by a surgical procedure called vascular decompression. This procedure may be done to treat trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasms, or glossopharyngeal neuralgia.

If the trigeminal nerve is compressed, an area on the back of the head is shaved, and an incision is made. The surgeon cuts a small hole in the skull and lifts the edge of the brain to expose the nerve. Then the surgeon separates the artery from the nerve and places a small sponge between them.

A general anesthetic is required, but the risk of side effects from the procedure is small. Side effects include facial numbness, facial weakness, double vision, infection, bleeding, alterations in hearing and balance, and paralysis.

Usually, this procedure relieves the pain, but in about 15% of people, pain recurs.

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What Are The Causes

The exact causes of ocular migraines are not definitively established. However, many scientists think that the symptoms that you experience happen because of reduced blood flow to the brain. Spasm in the blood vessels is what causes a reduction in blood flow.

The source of visual disturbances in ocular migraines is the retinal blood vessels. Contrarily, the source of migraines with aura is the occipital cortex, which is located at the base of the skull.

Since the source of the problem in aura migraines is not the eyes but the brain, you will still experience the sensory disturbances even when you close your eyes.

What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

Bells Palsy Facial Twitching – My chin

While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:

Eat regularly and do not skip meals.

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
  • Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.

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How Is A Diagnosis Made

First, your doctor will carefully review your medical history and perform a neurological exam. An MRI scan may be ordered to rule out other conditions such as a brain tumor, aneurysm, or AVM that may be causing facial nerve compression. Next, you may have an electromyogram study of the face. An EMG is often done along with a nerve conduction velocity study to measure your muscle and nerve electrical activity.

What Is Hemifacial Spasm

Hemifacial spasm is a neuromuscular condition marked by frequent involuntary contractions of the muscles on one side of the face. It is rarely seen on both sides of the face. Both men and women may suffer from hemifacial spasm, but the condition occurs more often in middle-aged and elderly women, and more frequently in the Asian population.

While it is not usually painful, hemifacial spasm can interfere with normal facial expressions. In some people, it can affect vision and interfere with daily activities such as driving, working, and sleeping, and in other ways negatively affect quality of life.

About the host: Dr. Dong Kim is a neurosurgeon and professor at the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth. View his presentation on how a hemifacial spasm is diagnosed and advanced treatment options for it.

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Involuntary Twitching On One Side Of Your Face

Since most people have typical hemifacial spams, the first symptom is usually when muscle contractions start around your eyelid. Although this is not always too disruptive, it can cause tearing of the eyes or closing of the same. Twitching is often more pronounced in situations of anxiety or simply when you are tired.

What Causes Eye Twitching

Hemifacial Spasms

Dont worry about eye twitches. Nothing serious is going on there.

Even if you also have retinal migraine with the vision loss that accompanies it, theres no need to panic. Eye twitching can happen as a result of a few factors, such as unusual electrical activity on the surface of your brain, inflammation, and changes in your blood vessels. This may lead to temporary wonkiness.

If you experience only temporary eye twitches or they occur alongside a headache or migraine episode, chances are you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Phew!

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Other Possible Cause Of Facial Muscle Twitching

Other than the above highlighted cause, there may be other causes ranging from mild to severe causes such as health issues. They include:

  • Parkinson disease
  • Certain medication
  • Tourette syndrome

A twitch of the face or cheek shouldnt be a major cause of concern. But if the twitch is associated with other symptoms such as chronic pain and headaches, visit your doctor for diagnosis. It could be a sign of an underlying health condition such as the ones mentioned above.

How Are Headaches Diagnosed In A Child

The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your familys health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. The physical exam may include a neurological exam.

Your child may be asked questions, such as:

  • When do headaches happen?

  • How long does the pain last?

  • Do changes in position such as sitting up cause the headache?

You may be asked questions about your child, such as:

  • Does your child have changes in walking?

  • Does your child have changes in behavior or personality?

  • Is your child having trouble sleeping?

  • Does your child have a history of emotional stress?

  • Is there a history of injury to your child’s head or face?

If a more serious condition is suspected ,your child may also have tests, such as:

  • MRI. This test uses large magnets and a computer to make detailed images of organs and tissues in the body.

  • CT scan. This test uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays.

  • Spinal tap . This test measures cerebrospinal fluid pressure. It may also be used to check for an infection in the CSF.

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How Are Migraines Diagnosed

Despite their dramatic symptoms, migraines are almost never due to an underlying problem that will show up on any testing, even on brain MRIs. Many experts do not recommend brain imaging at all, even in severe cases, as long as the patient’s symptoms are typical for migraines and a thorough neurological examination is normal.

There are extremely rare families that have migraines as a result of a single genetic mutation in one of four known genes that can lead to the condition called familial hemiplegic migraine. There are no genetic tests for the vast majority of patients. Because the condition cannot be diagnosed by scan or blood test, the diagnosis is “clinical” made by an experienced physician.

Ocular Migraine And Visual Migraine Symptoms

Hemifacial Spasm – Mayo Clinic

Ocular migraine symptoms generally include a small blind spot that affects your central vision in one eye. This blind spot gets larger, making it impossible for you to drive safely or read with the affected eye.

In some cases, the entire visual field of one eye may be affected. Generally, the episode lasts less than an hour.

Visual migraine symptoms can vary, and may include:

Visual migraines often appear suddenly and may create the sensation of looking through a cracked window. The visual migraine aura usually moves across your field of view and disappears within 30 minutes.

  • A flickering blind spot in the center or near the center of your field of view

  • A wavy or zigzag ring of colored light surrounding a central blind spot

  • A blind spot that slowly migrates across your visual field

  • The symptoms of a visual migraine typically affect both eyes and last less than 30 minutes. A migraine headache may occur shortly after the symptoms of a visual migraine subside or no headache may occur.

    If you’re experiencing a blind spot or other visual disturbance and you’re not sure if it’s an ocular migraine or a visual migraine , cover one eye at a time. If the visual disturbance affects just one eye, it’s probably an ocular migraine. If it affects both eyes, it’s likely a visual migraine.

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    What Do The Symptoms Of Vestibular Migraine Feel Like

    Vestibular migraine is a type of migraine where you experience episodes of dizziness or imbalance lasting from minutes to days . The symptoms of vestibular migraine often occur without headaches. If headaches are experienced, they are often one-sided, pulsating and aggravated by physical activity.

    Migraines are often thought of as painful headaches but they can involve many other symptoms. These symptoms can change over a persons lifetime so that the migraines people experience in their thirties or forties may be very different to the migraines they had in their teens.

    During a vestibular migraine, symptoms may include:

    • vertigo and/or dizziness
    • imbalance or unsteadiness
    • feeling unable to tolerate movements such as bending down, looking up or turning the head, especially if they are quick
    • sensitivity to light and/or noise and/or certain busy visual environments
    • visual disturbance
    • nausea and/or vomiting
    • tinnitus
    • a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear.

    How Can Wearing A Mask Trigger Migraines

    If youâve been staying indoors all this time, you might be a bit confused about what masks have to do with migraines. After all, wearing a mask wonât change the weather, your diet, your sleep schedule, or plenty of other major migraine triggers.

    Thatâs true, but prolonged mask-wearing can change your habits in ways that make migraines more likely. For example, if you normally drink coffee every day during your commute to work, wearing a mask would make that impossibleâand increase the likelihood of getting a migraine from missing out on your usual caffeine boost. For non-coffee-drinkers, the big concern here is that youâll drink less water if your mouth is covered for much of the day.

    Itâs an established fact that dehydration can cause migraines, but people are also reporting potential triggers associated with mask-wearing that havenât been thoroughly studied yet. Given the fact that most people havenât had to wear a mask every day until now, it makes sense that this situation might bring to light previously unknown triggers. Members of the Cove community have pointed to breathing difficulties, overheating, and pressure around the ears as possible triggers, but itâs too soon to tell if any of them will hold true for the majority of migraine sufferers.

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    How Do I Get Head And Face Pain Relief

    Head and face pain is best initially assessed by a general practitioner . They will make an assessment and make sure there are no warning signs for something serious.

    If they suspect something more serious is causing the head and face pain, they may do some scans or blood tests and make a referral to the appropriate specialist to treat But if no serious cause is diagnosed, the referral may be to a pain specialist for an assessment and therapy with/without the use of advanced pain reduction techniques.

    If the face and head pain is mild or improving, GPs may:

    • Reassure that there is no serious cause for concern and advise that the pain should improve with physical activity and simple pain medications.

    If the face and head pain persists or returns GPs may:

    Contact us to book an appointment with a pain specialist.

    How Do Doctors Diagnose The Cause Of Muscle Twitches

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    To diagnose the cause of muscle twitches, your doctor will take a medical history, perform an exam, and possibly order testing. Questions your doctor may ask about muscle twitches include:

    • Are you receiving hemodialysis?

    • How long have you experienced muscle twitches?

    • How severe are the twitches?

    • Where are you having the twitches?

    • Do you have muscle twitches in more than one location?

    • Are the twitches constant or do they come and go? How long do they last?

    • Do you have any other symptoms, such as weakness?

    • What medications are you taking?

    • What other medical conditions do you have?

    During the physical exam, your doctor will likely test your reflexes and evaluate your nervous system. Your doctor may also test your muscle strength and overall musculoskeletal health. Depending on the results, testing may be necessary including:

    • Blood tests to check your blood chemistry, electrolytes, and thyroid hormone levels

    • , which tests a muscleâs activity

    • Imaging exams of the brain and spine, including CT scans, and MRIs

    • Nerve conduction study , which measures how well nerves carry impulses

    It is not always possible to diagnose an underlying cause or condition. If the twitches persist and your provider is unable to determine a cause, seeking a second opinion may give you more information and answers.

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    Managing Anxiety And Stress

    Many people that experience dizziness and balance problems also experience unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, stress, panic and frustration. Anxiety and stress may trigger or increase symptoms of dizziness. Your doctor may suggest strategies for reducing stress, or refer you to a psychologist to help you manage these symptoms.


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