When facial paralysis is present, an accurate diagnosis is critical to treating damaged nerves and restoring muscle function. The first step is finding the root cause of the condition. There are a variety of evaluations to determine which nerves are involved. Your specialist will examine your face and the extent of the paralysis, check your hearing and vision and possibly send you for an MRI. You may also be asked to have blood tests to check for inflammation, diabetes and other underlying conditions. Another type of diagnostic tool involves measuring the electrical signals that pass to and fro through your nerves. These tests are called electromyography (EMG) and electroneurography (ENOG).
How Do EMG and ENOG Work?
Electromyography measures how your nerves send messages to your muscles. To perform an EMG, a small needle electrode is inserted into the muscles controlled by the nerves in question. The doctor will ask you to move the muscles as best you can. The way each muscle contracts can identify which nerves are damaged by measuring how much electrical nerve activity is present.
Electroneurography, sometimes called a nerve conduction study, uses electrode stickers. These stickers are placed on the skin and measure the speed of nerve signals. It does this by producing a very low electrical current. You may feel a tingling sensation while the current is active. Measuring how your muscles respond to this stimulus can help doctors determine the degree of nerve damage.
Treating Facial Paralysis
The inability to control facial muscles can cause many problems with daily activities, including eating, talking and closing your eyes. It can also make it difficult to convey emotions, or it may cause uncomfortable spasms or twitches.
By determining the cause and extent of the paralysis, a unique and effective treatment plan can be developed. This will provide the best care for your condition and produce better long-term outcomes. New York Facial Paralysis uses a team approach to patient care to ensure the most effective recovery plan. If you are suffering from facial paralysis, contact our office today for a consultation with our medical experts.