Learn About Facial Paralysis

What is the definition of Facial Paralysis?

Facial paralysis occurs when a person is no longer able to move some or all of the muscles on one or both sides of the face.

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What are the alternative names for Facial Paralysis?

Paralysis of the face

What are the causes of Facial Paralysis?

Facial paralysis is almost always caused by:

  • Damage or swelling of the facial nerve, which carries signals from the brain to the muscles of the face
  • Damage to the area of the brain that sends signals to the muscles of the face

In people who are otherwise healthy, facial paralysis is often due to Bell palsy. This is a condition in which the facial nerve becomes inflamed.

Stroke may cause facial paralysis. With a stroke, other muscles on one side of the body may also be involved.

Facial paralysis that is due to a brain tumor usually develops slowly. Symptoms can include headaches, seizures, or hearing loss.

In newborns, facial paralysis may be caused by trauma during birth.

Other causes include:

  • Infection of the brain or surrounding tissues
  • Lyme disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Tumor that presses on the facial nerve
How do I perform a home exam for a Facial Paralysis?

Follow your health care provider's instructions on how to take care of yourself at home. Take any medicines as directed.

If the eye cannot fully close, the cornea must be protected from drying out with prescription eye drops or gel.

When should I contact a medical professional for Facial Paralysis?

Call your provider if you have weakness or numbness in your face. Seek emergency medical help right away if you have these symptoms along with a severe headache, seizure, or blindness.

What should I expect during a doctor appointment?

The provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • Are both sides of your face affected?
  • Have you recently been sick or injured?
  • What other symptoms do you have? For example, drooling, excessive tears from one eye, headaches, seizures, vision problems, weakness, or paralysis.

Tests that may be ordered include:

  • Blood tests, including blood sugar, CBC, (ESR), Lyme test
  • CT scan of the head
  • Electromyography
  • MRI of the head

Treatment depends on the cause. Follow your provider's treatment recommendations.

The provider may refer you to a physical, speech, or occupational therapist. If facial paralysis from Bell palsy lasts for more than 6 to 12 months, plastic surgery may be recommended to help the eye close and improve the appearance of the face.

Ptosis - drooping of the eyelid
Facial drooping
Who are the top Facial Paralysis Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
30
conditions
Otolaryngology
General Surgery
Neurosurgery

Loyola University Health System

Loyola Center For Health At Oakbrook Terrace

1s260 Summit Ave 
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

John Leonetti is an Otolaryngologist and a General Surgeon in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Dr. Leonetti has been practicing medicine for over 40 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Facial Paralysis. He is also highly rated in 30 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Recurrent Peripheral Facial Palsy, Facial Paralysis, Schwannoma, and Acoustic Neuroma. He is licensed to treat patients in Illinois. Dr. Leonetti is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
12
conditions
Plastic Surgery
Otolaryngology

Johns Hopkins Health System

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

1800 Orleans St 
Baltimore, MD 21287

Derek Boahene is a Plastic Surgeon and an Otolaryngologist in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Boahene has been practicing medicine for over 23 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Facial Paralysis. He is also highly rated in 12 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Facial Paralysis, Bell's Palsy, Recurrent Peripheral Facial Palsy, and Nasal Septal Hematoma. He is licensed to treat patients in Maryland. Dr. Boahene is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
4
conditions
Otolaryngology

Mass General Brigham

Longwood

800 Huntington Ave 
Boston, MA 2115

Caroline Banks is an Otolaryngologist in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Banks has been practicing medicine for over 14 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Facial Paralysis. She is also highly rated in 4 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Facial Paralysis, Recurrent Peripheral Facial Palsy, Bell's Palsy, and Progressive Hemifacial Atrophy. She is licensed to treat patients in Massachusetts. Dr. Banks is currently accepting new patients.

What are the latest Facial Paralysis Clinical Trials?
Artificial Eye Blinking Stimulation Following Paralysis of the Facial Nerve
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Morphometric Study of the Muscles of the Skin in MRI 3 Tesla in Patients With Facial Paralysis.
What are the Latest Advances for Facial Paralysis?
Transconjunctival botulinum toxin injection into the lacrimal gland in crocodile tears syndrome.
Clinical effect and safety of filiform-fire needle in treatment of peripheral facial paralysis: a Meta-analysis.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
A meta-analysis of the effectiveness and safety of microvascular decompression in elderly patients with trigeminal neuralgia.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : January 16, 2021
Published By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Mattox DE, Vivas EX. Clinical disorders of the facial nerve. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 172.

Meyers SL. Acute facial paralysis. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2021. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:695-696.

Smith G, Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 392.