The nerves in your face are of essential importance when it comes to facial expression and natural movement. Damage to one or more nerves in the face can lead to a host of issues, up to and including facial paralysis. Depending on which nerves are damaged and how it happened, paralysis may affect one or both sides of the face.
Facial paralysis can make it difficult or even impossible to show emotions like joy, love or heartbreak. Difficulty expressing emotions can have very real psychological side effects, but it can also affect your social life. When you don’t feel like your face can be trusted to accurately show how you’re feeling in a crowd, it often becomes easier just to retreat from the crowd altogether. Fortunately, there is hope. Treating facial nerve damage can, for many patients, restore mobility.
How Does Nerve Damage Cause Facial Paralysis?
To understand how damage to nerves can impact your face, it’s important to first know that there are 42 muscles tasked with controlling everything from blinking to smiling, and forehead furrows to neck movement. Damage to nerves associated with one or more of those muscles can cause varying degrees of impairment. This damage can be the result of:
- Bell’s Palsy (the most common cause of facial paralysis, up to 70% of total cases)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Physical trauma to the face, base of the skull or during birth
- Tumors of the head or neck
Can Damaged Facial Nerves Respond to Treatment?
Just like no two bodies are exactly alike, neither are any two injuries to the facial nerves. Depending on a long list of potential factors, your individual injury may or may not respond favorably to some treatments. These can range from as quick and easy as a prednisone injection for Bell’s palsy if it’s caught within 14 days, all the way to muscle grafting from other parts of your body to restore facial movement.
If you are living with the very real struggle that can come with facial paralysis, you are not alone. You also have options. Call or contact us at New York Facial Paralysis to learn more about potential treatments today.