Facial nerve disorders can cause weakness on one or both sides of your face. You might lose your facial expressions, and find it difficult to eat, drink and speak clearly. It can also become difficult to close your eye and blink, which can lead to damage to your cornea. It's also known as idiopathic unilateral facial paralysis. We usually treat Bell's palsy with a course of steroids and advice on looking after your eyes, oral hygiene and facial rehabilitation. Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by a virus in the facial nerve, and is a more severe cause of facial paralysis.
Facial nerve paralysis - Wikipedia
Facial nerve palsy is a neurological condition in which function of the facial nerve cranial nerve VII is partially or completely lost. It is often idiopathic but in some cases, specific causes such as trauma, infections, or metabolic disorders can be identified. Two major types are distinguished: central facial palsy lesion occurs between cortex and nuclei in the brainstem and peripheral facial palsy lesion occurs between nuclei in the brainstem and peripheral organs. Central facial palsy manifests with impairment of the lower contralateral mimic musculature. In contrast, peripheral facial palsy leads to impairment of the ipsilateral mimic muscles and also affects the eyelids and forehead. Additionally, peripheral facial palsy can cause various sensory and autonomic disorders depending on the exact location of the lesion.
Facial nerve paralysis is an inability to move the muscles that control smiling, blinking, and other facial movements. Most of the time, facial paralysis is limited to one side of the face. Paralysis can occur if any part of the facial nerve, called the seventh cranial nerve, becomes inflamed or damaged. The facial nerve has branches throughout both sides of the face and controls many muscle groups, including those in the brow, eyelid, cheek, and lips.
A year-old woman presents in the emergency department with weakness on the left side of her face that started two hours previously. She reports a sudden onset of an uncomfortable sensation in the affected region with difficulty closing her left eye, a crooked smile and increased sensitivity to sound. The examination shows unilateral peripheral facial paralysis with features of a lower motor neuron lesion.