The variety of conditions that present themselves as facial paralysis all involve a hiccup with or damage to the main nerve of the face. Understanding the various roles this important nerve plays in the body may better help you understand your own condition.
The main facial nerve is called the seventh cranial nerve, or CN7, and it extends outward from the brain stem into several different branches. The various branches serve many different functions, from triggering tear production to relaying messages to tiny muscles inside the ear. Branches of the facial nerve also impact saliva production in the mouth and communicate different tastes from the brain to the tongue.
One of the main functions of the cranial nerve is to control muscle movement of the face, and when it’s damaged, as a result of an infection or condition such as Lyme disease, or interfered with as the result of pressure from a tumor, the result is often facial nerve or Bell’s palsy.
When you have a condition such as Bell’s palsy, the function of the facial nerve and its corresponding branches are compromised. This can lead to facial drooping, twitching, and difficulty closing one eye, making facial expressions, or eating. It can also lead to paralysis on one side of the face or the other. Even symptoms such as headaches and sensitivity to sound can be the result of a damaged facial nerve.
Whether you’re looking for an accurate diagnosis, diagnostic testing, or more effective treatment for your facial paralysis, Dr. O and the multidisciplinary team at New York Facial Paralysis is here for you.
Contact our offices today to schedule your appointment.