Facial paralysis

What is facial paralysis and what are the symptoms?

Facial paralysis is a pathology that causes a partial or total motor paralysis of the facial nerve and, therefore, of the facial musculature. The symptoms of this disease are the impossibility to perform certain movements such as smiling, opening and closing the eye completely, raising the eyebrow, etc.

Facial paralysis may be due to various conditions or factors.

What are the causes of facial paralysis?

This pathology may be due to various conditions or factors: tumors, trauma, acute and chronic ear infections, congenital disorders (Moebius syndrome) and, mostly, due to unknown causes. In the latter case, it is called Bell’s palsy or peripheral facial palsy.

What is the treatment?

Corticosteroids are usually administered to slow down the progressive deterioration of the nerve and facial muscle massage. In the most severe cases, specific surgical treatments are also performed using both static and dynamic techniques to recover the movement and functionality of the muscles. The treatment of Bell’s palsy or peripheral facial paralysis should be started immediately after its onset in order to achieve a faster and more effective recovery, as well as to avoid the sequelae of facial paralysis.

Are there any complications in the recovery?

On some occasions, recovery from facial paralysis is incomplete because the nerve is damaged and is not able to function normally. Complications such as hemifacial spasm (when some muscles are permanently contracted) or synkinesias (when, when performing a voluntary movement, an unwanted one appears) may appear. Fortunately, both complications can be improved with appropriate rehabilitative treatment: facial neuromuscular reeducation exercises or, in some cases, botulinum toxin injections.