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Essential facts about this nervous disorder
- Facial nerve palsy also known as facial paralysis is a nervous system disorder that affects the movement of facial muscles.
- In most patients, the condition results in the facial muscles of the patients appearing drooped or weak. The condition can occur on one or both sides of the face and can happen both all of a sudden or even gradually over a period of months.
- Depending on its cause, the condition might last for only a limited duration or it might prove to be an extended condition.
Causes of Facial Nerve Palsy
- In order to fully understand the reasons that might cause facial nerve palsy, it is important to learn about its anatomy.
- The condition often results from any damage to the seventh cranial nerve. This nerve is located in the skull and is responsible for controlling the movement of the face muscles.
- When the nerve gets damaged, infected or is under excessive pressure, it results in the facial palsy. Some common causes of the condition include the following:
- Infection or inflammation of the nerve
- Damage caused by head trauma
- Pressure exerted by head or neck trauma
- Due to side effects of a stroke
- Infection of the middle ear or other ear damage
Symptoms of the condition
- An early diagnosis of the facial nerve palsy can prove extremely beneficial in ensuring its timely treatment and fast and complete recovery of the patient.
- For this it is important to be aware of the various symptoms of the ailment, which generally include the following:
- Change in the appearance of the face
- Difficulty in closing one eye
- Difficulty in making expressions and grimacing
- Difficulty with fine movements of the face
- Difficulty in eating with food items falling out of the weak corner of the mouth
- Face feels stiff and pulled to one side
- Impairment of taste
- Increased loudness of sound in one ear
Treating the condition
- The treatment of facial nerve palsy is generally based on the reasons that cause it.
- In case the condition is caused by infection or inflammation of the nerve, the doctors might prescribe a course of strong anti-inflammatory drugs in combination with and antiviral when the ailment is detected in its early phase.
- However, if the condition is caused by a tumor, the patients might need to undergo surgical treatment to remove the cancerous growth and reduce the pressure exerted on the nerve.
- In some cases of nerve damage, the condition might improve on its own as the nerve gradually recovers.
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