How To Treat Facial Nerve Palsy
Facial palsy or paralysis is caused by damage to the facial nerve which is the cranial nerve VII that supplies the muscles of the face. The facial nerve which is the seventh cranial nerve controls the muscles for facial expression, salivary function, parts of the ear and taste on parts of the tongue.
The facial nerve passes through a narrow pathway of bone on its way to the face. It becomes damaged when it gets inflamed or swollen within the bony canal and ischaemia occurs as the nerve swells cutting off blood supply to the nerve.
Injury to the facial nerve may affect several aspects of the face depending on the degree and location of facial nerve injury.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
When there is damage to the facial nerve, you may experience the following signs and symptoms which often appear quickly and worsen over next few days:
- Pain around the jaw and at the front or behind the ear of the affected side of the face
- Altered sense of taste
- Droopy eyebrows on the affected side of the face.
- Wrinkles on the forehead on the affected side.
- Difficulty closing the eyes on the affected side.
- Increased sensitivity to sound.
- Inability to whistle.
- Difficulty in closing the eyes of the affected side.
- The affected part becomes flattened.
- Facial droop and difficulty making facial expressions, such as closing your eye or smiling
Here are some causes of facial nerve palsy;
- Idiopathic or Bell’s palsy is when there is a sudden paralysis of one side of the face and the cause is unclear.
- Surgery or medical procedures, medical intervention and surgeries around the skull and area of the nerve can often cause temporary facial paralysis.
- Lyme disease
- Viral infection, several viruses including varicella-zoster, herpes simplex, and Epstein-Barr (EBV) may cause facial paralysis.
People in the following group below are at high risk of developing facial nerve palsy:
- Pregnancy, especially during the third trimester or first week after giving birth
- Viral infections
- High blood pressure
Facial nerve palsy usually resolves fully on its own or with some intervention. But sometimes, the following complications may develop and they include;
- Irreversible damage to the facial nerve
- Blindness of the eye that would not close due to dryness and scratching of the cornea.
- Involuntary contraction of certain facial muscles when trying to move other muscles (synkinesis). E.g. When smiling, the eye on the affected side may close. This is due to irregular regrowth of nerve.
HOW TO TREAT FACIAL PALSY
Physiotherapy plays an important in the rehabilitating of facial nerve palsy, as it helps in stimulation the facial nerves and muscles which aids in recovery.
- Helps in restoring functions such as speaking, eating, and closing the eyes.
- Helps in regaining movement in the eye
- Helps in education on eye care.
- Helps to promote facial movement
- Improve self-esteem.
If you have facial nerve palsy or notice its symptoms kindly can call or visit us:
Phone No: +234 811 885 6060 || +234 909 860 4470
Effective Physiotherapy Clinic
Address: No. 2 Ajumgobia Close, Kado Estate, Abuja
Call: +23480 3436 5055 | +234 909 860 4470