Causes of Facial Paralysis
The facial nerve is responsible for controlling the muscles in our face and primarily helps us express emotion. When facial paralysis occurs, it usually means that this nerve is damaged, and consequently, the facial muscles weaken and droop. Causes for facial paralysis can be any of the following:
- Facial nerve palsy, or Bell’s Palsy, is a temporary condition that may persist after the resection of Acoustic Neuroma (a benign growth that interferes with balance and hearing).
- Infection of the face or ear (the middle ear, in particular).
- Trauma to the head, skull or face.
- Head or neck tumors.
If the condition persists past six months, the damage may become permanent. In this case, it would no longer be referred to as facial nerve palsy or Bell’s Palsy, but rather facial paralysis. Facial paralysis is treatable — most patients get by with steroids, medication and physical therapy — however those facing more debilitating after effects, cosmetic surgery is also an option.
Symptoms of Facial Paralysis
- Difficulty of facial muscles in expressing emotion
- Tearing or dryness of the eyes and/or mouth
- Muscle twitching
- Facial pain
- Difficulty in eating, talking or drinking
- Headaches and/or dizziness
This 56-year old female had been suffering from Bell’s Palsy. She complained of constant eye tearing, particularly when it was windy and was getting skin irritation from using tape to keep her eye closed. Dr. Prasad placed a 1.0 gram gold eyelid weight, which allowed her to close her eye during normal blinking and relieved her symptoms significantly.
This 60-year old woman had resection of an acoustic neuroma, resulting in permanent loss of her ability to close her eye. She was developing corneal abrasions from the exposure of her eye. She underwent placement of a gold eyelid weight in the right upper eyelid, which allowed her to properly close her eyes and protect her cornea.
The Importance of Treating Facial Paralysis
One of the most common problems resulting from facial paralysis is the inability to properly close the eye, which can lead to serious complications such as dryness, infection and corneal damage. Temporary treatments such as eye drops, ointments, eyelid taping and patches are helpful; however, modern techniques such as the placement of a gold eyelid weight in the upper eyelid can make a significant difference in the treatment results.
Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Amiya Prasad uses procedures such as ectropion repair, facial slings and modified face lifts to help improve the function and appearance of the lower eyelid region. He performs this type of corrective surgery for facial paralysis using only the most modern techniques, and his experience and expertise in eye and cosmetic eye surgery have allowed him to help many patients with their concerns.
Take a moment to peruse our website and find out why so many people are turning to Dr. Prasad for facial paralysis treatment. For more information about our services and our luxurious, state-of-the-art facilities, visit our FAQ section, or feel free to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Before making a decision, consider having a personal evaluation with New York eyelid surgery specialist and Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Amiya Prasad to determine what is the most appropriate procedure(s) for your specific case.