There are some conditions that can cause facial nerves to become pinched, causing facial paralysis. This occurrence can cause discomfort, self-consciousness, and distress. For patients experiencing facial paralysis, there is a selection of treatments available to improve the issue.

What is Facial Paralysis?

When facial paralysis occurs, it is due to problems with the facial nerves. The facial nerve, or cranial nerve, is responsible for the movement of the face and neck. When there are problems with the facial nerve, weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles can occur. Any condition that causes swelling or pressure on this nerve can cause abnormal facial function.

Common conditions that cause facial paralysis include:

  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Lyme Disease
  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Parotid/Acoustic/ Skull Base Tumor Surgery
  • Viral Infection
  • Congenital facial paralysis

How is Facial Paralysis Evaluated?

When facial paralysis occurs, a thorough evaluation is needed to determine the cause of the nerve damage. Usually, various forms of testing will be performed and a thorough examination will take place. An x-ray or CT scan can help to determine where swelling, infection, or trauma is located that may be causing a problem with the facial nerve.

More specialized tests can also be done, including electromyography (EMG) which helps to determine if the problem is located in the nerve or muscle. Another test includes the nerve excitability test (NET) which compares normal facial nerves to the abnormal facial nerves.

These type of tests and evaluations are done to determine your cause of facial paralysis will depend on your individual case. A consultation can help to best determine which types will be appropriate for your situation.

What Patients Are Saying

I recently had to find a new ENT after my employer changed my insurance. I have a complicated health history so it can be daunting to find a new provider that you trust. I was very pleased with Dr. Picerno – she was kind, patient and very thorough! I’m so happy to have found her! I also met with Amelia, an audiologist, and she was also awesome!

Had a great experience with Dr Cote and great results! Would recommend Dr Cote. I would also go back for anything else I may need! -Cheryl B.

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Facial Paralysis Treatment

Depending on the cause of your facial paralysis, there are an array of treatment options. In cases of facial nerve paralysis that will not resolve on its own, facial surgery may be required. These cases include a facial nerve that has been trapped and needs to be released or a facial nerve that has been divided by trauma.

If you are experiencing facial paralysis, contact AOO/ENT specialists of the Rockies today. Our ENT specialists will work to find the cause of your facial paralysis, as well as create a treatment plan that is best for you.

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Christopher R. Cote, M.D.

With more than 25 years experience,Dr. Christopher Cote is double-board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery. He received his medical degree from Tufts University and performed a surgical internship and residency at Walter Reed Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center. He received fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University in Facial Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, his subspecialty area of expertise and focus, including rhinoplasty and nasal airway surgery . He also enjoys hiking, skiing, and traveling with his family.

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