Facial nerve paralysis (patient information)
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| Facial nerve paralysis (patient information)|
|Moche. Culture Representation of Facial Paralysis. 300 A.D. Larco Museum Collection, Lima, Peru.|
Facial nerve paralysis
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Facial nerve paralysis is a nervous system disorder in which a damaged nerve in the skull affects the movement of the muscles of the face. Usual causes include face trauma, toxins, nervous system disease, infection in the ear or face, diabetes mellitus and tumors. The most common sign of facial nerve paralysis are changes in the appearance of the face, such as facial droop, difficulty closing one eye, difficulty with fine movements of the face and difficulty making expressions. Other symptoms include that face feels pulled to one side and stiff, eyes and mouth fell dry, headache, pain behind the ear, and hyperacusis. The changes in the appearance of the face can supply clues for the diagnosis. Head images may help identify the cause of your facial nerve paralysis. Treatment depends on the underlying causes. Anti-inflammatory drugs and antiviral drugs may be used if the condition is caught early enough. Surgical facial nerve decompression is controversial. Facial nerve paralysis can make changes in the appearancce of the face and take much trouble in your life. The effective preventive measurements include that keep a good life-style, regular check of your glucose for patients with diabetes, avoid face trauma and infections, and keep far away from toxins. The pragnosis of facial nerve paralysis varies from person to person. Some patients can be cured.
What are the symptoms of Facial nerve paralysis?
Damaged nerve leads to facial muscle paralysis. Patients with facial nerve paralysis may show the following signs:
- Change in the appearance of the face
- Facial droop, paralysis in one side
- Difficulty closing one eye and difficulty with fine movements of the face
- Difficulty making expressions, grimacing
- Difficulty eating
- Face feels pulled to one side and stiff
- Felling dryness in the eye or the mouth
- Pain behind the ear
- Alteration of taste on the affected side
Who is at highest risk?
- Trauma: such as skull base fractures, facial injuries, or surgical trauma.
- Nervous system disease, such as Millard-Gubler syndrome
- Infection in the ear or face, such as Ramsey-Hunt syndrome
- Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus
- Tumors, such as acoustic neuroma, schwannoma, glomus tumors.
- Toxins, such as alcohol abuse, carbon monoxide poisoning.
- idiopathic, such as Bell's palsy
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call your health care provider if you find any signs of facial nerve paralysis. Early treatment is helpful to cure your changes in the face.
Treatment of facial nerve paralysis depends on the underlying cause.
- Treating the underlying cause, such as removal of the nervous tomors that press on the facial nerve.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone medications and antiviral drug acyclovir may be used if the condition is caught early enough.
- Surgery: Surgical facial nerve decompression is controversial and is recommend by some physicians during the first two weeks in patients.
- Protecting the eyes: Eye drops or artificial tears may help protect your eyes. Also, you may recommended to wear protective glasses and eye ointments.
Diseases with similar symptoms
Where to find medical care for Facial nerve paralysis?
Prevention of Facial nerve paralysis
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
The pragnosis of facial nerve paralysis varies from person to person. It depends on:
- The underlying cause: Prognosis of patients with facial nerve paralysis caused by tumors is poorer than other causes.
- The severity of facial nerve injuries
- Whether the patient is treated early or not: Early treatment may be helpful to recover. Some patient experiencing early treatment leave behind no change in the face.