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Facial Paralysis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Facial paralysis causes | Facial Paralysis Treatment

Facial Paralysis: In this condition, the muscles of the face become weak and lose the ability to move. It affects one or both sides of the face.

Facial paralysis causes: It can be due to Bell’s palsy, brain tumour, brain stroke, infection or inflammation of the facial nerve, trauma or congenital conditions. All these conditions may cause nerve damage. When this condition strikes, facial muscles may become weak and appear to droop. This condition can be due to temporary or permanent damage to the facial muscle.

Those who have this condition can notice face drooping either on one or both the side. They also experience problems with eating, eyes blinking, speaking, drooling saliva, blinking eyes and problems with facial expressions.

Facial paralysis can happen gradually over a period of months (head or neck tumour) or can come on suddenly (Bell’s Palsy) depending on the cause, this paralysis may last for a short period of time or an extended period of time.

Symptoms of Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis causes fear, alarm or apprehension, but it doesn’t always mean a brain stroke.

The most common diagnosis of this condition is Bell’s Palsy. The symptoms associated with Bell’s palsy include slurred speech, drooling, mouth dropping, loss of control of blinking, facial paralysis on the affected side, hypersensitivity to sound, pain behind the ear, difficulty speaking, eating and drinking.

There is some sort of apprehension in some people when they suddenly experience the above symptoms as they worry that they could be experiencing brain stroke. The reason for this is that the symptoms associated with Bell’s palsy are similar to brain stroke symptoms. However, there are some symptoms that are associated with stroke but not seen in Bell’s palsy.

  • Weakness in arms
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision (changes in vision)
  • Sudden severe headache (not always)
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Changes in the level of consciousness

When to see a doctor

Someone experiencing any of the above symptoms should immediately seek medical attention because it is difficult for them to distinguish whether it is a stroke or something else is causing facial paralysis as there are many reasons. Therefore, if you experience weakness in facial muscles with drooping as a prominent symptom then immediately see a specialist doctor. An experienced ENT doctor or a neurologist will detect the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment for facial paralysis.

Diagnosis of Facial Paralysis

When you see an ENT specialist or a neurologist, you should discuss all your symptoms. Inform your doctor completely about the condition you may have. While examining physically, the doctor may ask a few questions and instruct you to move your face, smile, frown, close your eyes and lift your eyebrows.

The doctor orders a few tests to know whether you really have a facial paralysis. The tests may include electromyography (EMG), imaging scans (MRI, CT) and blood tests.

Facial Paralysis Treatment

Depending on the cause of Facial paralysis the majority of the people will recovery with or without treatment. Doctors give prescription medicines and injections to help improve the chances of complete recovery. Doctors also prescribe oral and antiviral medications if the cause is a viral infection. In addition, physiotherapy and rehabilitation work wonders for strengthening muscles and preventing permanent damage.

Some people may also experience uncontrolled facial muscles movement apart from having facial paralysis.

Other types of facial paralysis treatment: Botox injections and physical therapy can help improve the condition in such cases.

Quick action and seeking medical attention in time will help in improving the prospects of complete recovery with minimum brain damage if the cause of facial paralysis is due to a brain stroke.

Facial Paralysis Treatment at Care Hospitals

Dr Neetu Modgil provides comprehensive care with the most advanced technology at a leading healthcare facility in Hyderabad to treat facial paralysis.


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