Facial paralysis can result from a range of causes. It is important to identify the cause as soon as possible to allow for the most effective and efficient treatment. Of course, it is also important not to self-diagnose but to instead visit a professional. However, understanding the common causes can help you have a better…
Causes and Treatment for Facial Paralysis from a Neurosurgeon
Facial paralysis is a condition where the person loses the ability to move the facial muscles. This can happen to one or both sides of the face. This condition can result from several conditions. It can cause problems with eating, speaking, blinking, or swallowing. If you want to find out about the causes and treatments for facial paralysis, here are the details from a neurosurgeon.
Cause 1: Bell’s palsy
This is a neurological disorder affecting the seventh cranial nerve. It results in the inability to move one side of the face. Research shows that this can occur in an instant and then worsen in a matter of hours. The affected muscles may look expressionless and smooth. The individual may lose the ability to close the eye on one side of the face.
The person will experience stiffness on one side of the face and pain behind the ear of the affected side. There will also be neck stiffness and elevated temperature before facial paralysis. The main cause of Bell’s palsy is still unknown. Studies show that immune system disorders and viruses are possible causes.
Some cases prove that Bell’s palsy can disappear in three months. Most patients get better without even receiving treatment. The attending neurosurgeon may recommend mild electrical stimulation with massage for the paralyzed facial muscles. This can prevent long-term facial paralysis and improve muscle tone.
The doctor can prescribe oral corticosteroids to help reduce the symptoms. These medications will weaken the immune system. The patient can take antivirals while on corticosteroids. Wearing eye protection is important if the eye cannot close. Eyeglasses, goggles, or eye drops can help.
Cause 2: stroke
Bleeding in the brain and impaired circulation in the brain can cause a stroke. Ruptures and blockages in blood vessels can also result in it. This affects the communication between the body and the brain. Facial paralysis can spring from any of the different types of stroke.
A stroke needs immediate medical attention. The neurosurgeon will prescribe drugs to stop the bleeding in the brain. This will help save the brain tissue. Some people do not recover completely. Others carry disabilities for the rest of their lives.
Cause 3: brain tumor
A growth in the brain can also cause facial paralysis. A few of the symptoms are seizures, personality changes, and facial numbness. Confirming the presence and location of the tumor is important. An MRI scan can help the doctor find what area of the brain has the growth.
The outlook will depend on the type of tumor. The neurosurgeon may suggest a combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Surgery will apply if the tumor is operable. Treating the remaining cancerous cells with radiation and drugs will help stop the cancer from spreading.
Facial paralysis is treatable depending on the cause
This condition may cause many difficulties for you and your loved ones at its onset. It is important to seek medical treatment right away. Facial paralysis can be preventable and treatable. Working with your neurosurgeon can help speed up the process of correcting or managing facial paralysis.
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