Your face is your most recognizable feature, and if facial paralysis occurs, it is a devastating condition with functional and esthetic effects resulting in profound quality-of-life impairment. Facial paralysis or palsy is the loss of facial movement resulting from inflammation, injury, infection, or absence of the facial nerve or facial musculature. This condition can affect people of all ages, be congenital, or strike suddenly.
The most vital responsibility of the treating clinician is to establish a diagnosis for the underlying cause of the facial movement disorder. Noting the time course of palsy onset, progression, prior therapies, resultant symptoms, and their impact on facial function and quality of life must be carefully documented for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Causes of acute facial paralysis include:
- Bell’s Palsy
- Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Optic Infection and Cholesteatomas
- Post-surgical Insult
- Benign Tumors
- Malignant Tumors
- Congenital Malformations
- Systemic Infections
- Autoimmune Conditions
- Granulomatous Disease
Immediate medical treatment is fundamental in cases of acute paralysis from viral causes such as Bell’s palsy. The type of treatment for facial paralysis is conditional upon the cause and nature of the paralysis. Treatment may include a combination of medical, surgical, and facial nerve specific physical therapy. Depending on paralysis type or duration, various surgical procedures can either repair nerve damage or reanimate the smile. Other procedures may target specific problems such as eye closure, nasal obstruction, or facial asymmetries.
Teresa O, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of facial nerve paralysis. At New York Facial Paralysis, we treat a variety of conditions. Taking care of the individual needs of our patients is of supreme importance, therefore a multidisciplinary approach is used for treatment. There is no “one size fits all” approach to treatment because is it our desire to care for each patient individually. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.