Facial palsy is a scientific term that refers to a facial disorder. It occurs when there has been temporary or lasting damage to the facial nerve. The facial muscles with non-functional facial nerves do not receive proper signals and this leads to partial paralysis of the affected facial area. This, in turn, affects the normal movements of the other organs such as the eyes and mouth.
Types of Facial Palsy
Facial paralysis can be sub-divided into five categories such as
1) Congenital – It is also known as Mobius Syndrome and it is a rare form of facial paralysis.
2) Idiopathic – Bell palsy or idiopathic facial paralysis is mostly viral-induced nerve inflammation that disrupts the facial functions in addition to swelling and vascular abnormalities.
3) Traumatic – Facial paralysis that happens due to blunt or penetrating trauma is a common type of facial palsy.
4) Neoplastic – Facial paralysis caused by malignant tumors. It is not a very common type of facial palsy.
5) Inflammatory – Facial paralysis caused by inflammation, viral, and bacterial infections such as mumps, sarcoidosis, Lyme disease, herpes zoster may be referred to as inflammatory facial palsy.
Patients may experience varying degrees of facial paralysis, like only in the lower region of the face or one side of the face. In some cases, the whole face can be affected by facial palsy.
Facial Palsy Symptoms
I) The face can appear to be flattened with loss of movement
II) The eyebrow, eyes, cheek, and mouth are mainly affected
III) There could be a loss of control over tears and saliva production
IV) There could be a loss of sensation and you cannot feel your face even when you are touching it
V) You could experience the inability to blink the affected eye or close it properly.
VI) Droopy eyebrows
VII) Corners of the mouth may appear pulled down
Central Facial Palsy
It is also known as colloquially central seven and can be characterized by facial paralysis of the lower half (one side) of the face. Severe damage to the motor neurons can cause central facial palsy.
Difference between Bells Palsy and Facial Palsy
While facial palsy is a generalized term used to explain paralysis of the facial muscles, it can be further classified into central or peripheral palsy. On the other hand, Bell's palsy is a diagnosis that confirms idiopathic, when facial palsy causes are undetermined and unclear.
Facial Palsy Video
Facial Palsy Diagnosis
Diagnosis can involve an appointment with the doctor and a physical examination. The doctor may also conduct imaging tests for the brain and face. Tests such as MRI, CT scan, and electromyography may be suggested.
Facial Palsy Treatment
Medical management and intervention may depend on the underlying cause of facial palsy. Medical conditions such as Bell's Palsy and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome can be treated effectively with corticosteroids medication and antiviral drugs. Early stages of facial palsy can be treated with physiotherapy, therapists may train patients to perform specific facial palsy exercises.
Severe cases linked to tumors or acoustic neuromas may need surgical management. Oculoplastic surgery may be advised for patients with chances of corneal ulcer risk. ENT doctors or neurologists in Dubai may even recommend facial reanimation surgery for those patients with dense facial palsy and improper nerve functions.
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