Face drop & Facial Palsy
Facial palsy is weakness of the facial muscles due to temporary or permanent damage to the facial nerve. The resulting paralysis can affect the eye closure and movement of the mouth as well the appearance of a Face Drop on the affected side. It can cause you significant emotional, physical and cosmetic issues.
Poor eyelid closure can cause permanent damage to the clear window of the eye and permanently damage the vision. Long term results of facial palsy can result in cosmetic asymmetry and twitching of the eyes and face if the nerves attempt to regenerate, which can be debilitating in itself.
At FaceRestoration, we offer options to improve eye closure, and protect the eye as well as improve the cosmetic and nerve sequelae.
ABOUT THIS CONDITION
INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR SYMPTOMS
Each side of the face has its own facial nerve, and damage can affect one or both sides depending on the cause and site of damage. The nerve starts at the brain and enters the face in front of the ear where it divides into five separate branches. These branches supply the muscles that are responsible for facial expression, tear and saliva production.
If the facial nerves are damaged or are not working as they should, this can cause facial drop or facial palsy. Typical symptoms include:
- Mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of the face within hours to days.
- Drooping facial muscles and difficulty making facial expressions, such as smiling and closing your eye
- On the affected side, you may experience pain around your jaw or in or behind your ear.
A full history, ocular and neurological examination is essential to diagnose and identify the cause of the facial palsy or blepharospasm. Imaging with CT and MRI can help to identify the underlying cause, and exclude more sinister pathology before treatments are considered.
What causes face drop and facial palsy?
The most common cause of Facial palsy is a Bell’s palsy, which is idiopathic, meaning that no conclusive cause has been found.
Viral infections may be an underlying cause of Bell’s palsy, when this is due to the chicken pox virus, this is called Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
Surgical damage can occur to the nerve during surgical removal of tumours that lie in the pathway of the facial nerve, such as an acoustic neuroma or tumours of the parotid gland in front of the ear. The nerve may also be damaged as a result of trauma, and due to birth trauma with forceps delivery.
Stroke may also cause a face drop but this is usually not due to damage to the facial nerve but due to brain damage resulting in messages not reaching the facial nerve.
Following facial palsy to one side, the other side muscles can over act and become more bulky, causing further asymmetry. Early intervention can help to minimise this.
Occasionally rewiring and miswiring of the nerves can result in unexpected conditions like crocodile tears, watering of the eyes when moving the jaw or eating, and blepharospasm. This is involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids and can be very disabling.
What treatments are available for face drop or facial palsy?
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How we can help
Contact us for a consultation
Booking with us
Arrange a consultation with us using the button below at a time of your choosing. This may be held through video chat dependant on COVID guidelines at the time.
We will then discuss with you your symptoms and advise you on how best to proceed with helpful guidance on treatments through our expert knowledge and training.
Treatment after care
Once an appointment has been arranged, we will then begin treatment and support you along the process, including specialised aftercare.