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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 8999
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I have recently noticed that when I squeeze my eyes closed,

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I have recently noticed that when I squeeze my eyes closed, there is a tightening or contraction in my lower lip on the right side only. I'm wondering if there is something going on with my trigeminal nerve. I also have a mild bitter or metallic taste in my mouth. Should I see a neurologist? Thank you.

neuromd2012 :

Welcome to Just Answer. I am an Adult Neurologist and was contacted to answer your question.

Customer: Hello.
neuromd2012 :

hi

neuromd2012 :

so what you are describing is a condition called hemifacial spasm

Customer: Any thoughts?
Customer: oops, sorry. What is that?
neuromd2012 :

it is a problem of the facial nerve, which is a motor nerve that drives the face

neuromd2012 :

the trigeminal nerve is a sensory nerve

neuromd2012 :

so if you had pain or numbness

neuromd2012 :

on your face

neuromd2012 :

let me get you some information on hemifacial spasm

Customer: OK that would be great.
neuromd2012 :

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1170722-overview

neuromd2012 :

so you do need to see a neurologist

neuromd2012 :

for this problem

neuromd2012 :

it is really a problem of brain function, in the frontal lobes, and can be linked to diseases like parkinsons

Customer: Is it serious?
neuromd2012 :

the treatment is botox injections into the facial muscles that go into spasm

Customer: Ohhh.
neuromd2012 :

it really is not serious

neuromd2012 :

it usually is a chronic condition though

neuromd2012 :

so if it is more noticeable, you have to treat it with botox every 3 months

Customer: I think it's noticeable only to me.
neuromd2012 :

well there is a workup for this problem

neuromd2012 :

which includes an MRI of the brainstem area

Customer: Do you think the taste change is related?
neuromd2012 :

if you have that, yes,

neuromd2012 :

certainly you can have problems of taste on one half of your tongue

neuromd2012 :

the side that is in spasm

Customer: Wow.
neuromd2012 :

part of the facial nerve involves taste

neuromd2012 :

so that might suggest your problem is in the nerve itself

neuromd2012 :

rather than in the brain, understand?

neuromd2012 :

you need a facial EMG study and a blink reflex test

Customer: Yes, that sounds reassuring.
neuromd2012 :

yes, you might have compression of the facial nerve somewhere

neuromd2012 :

like in your parotid gland, or you middle ear area

neuromd2012 :

etc.

Customer: I see. Thanks. Thats a lot of info.
neuromd2012 :

you are welcome

neuromd2012 :

come back anytime if you have questions

neuromd2012 :

Dr Frank T

neuromd2012 :

please rate my service if you can

neuromd2012 :

bye

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