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
- 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.
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, 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 Associates of Otolaryngology 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.