There’s nothing more momentous than restoring a patient’s smile. When someone experiences facial paralysis, they deserve a solution with life-changing results. Every case is different requiring a tailored approach and a customized treatment.
Facial appearance is the most distinguishable thing about us. When the face is altered by paralysis or Bell’s palsy, it can have a profound impact on the patient’s life. NYC oculofacial plastic surgeon, Dr. Yogita Kashyap understands the challenges of facial paralysis and provides specialized treatments which focus on achieving optimal results.
What is Facial Paralysis
When facial muscles appear to become weak or droop on one or both sides of the face, there is some form of facial paralysis. Common causes include:
When blood vessels in the brain rupture and bleed or there is a blockage which prevents blood from getting to the brain, the patient suffers a stroke. This blockage or rupture prevents oxygen from reaching brain tissue causing multiple symptoms including paralysis.
Head or Neck Tumor
A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells in the brain. Any growth inside the limited size of the skull or neck can cause serious health concerns. When tumors grow, they create an increase in pressure on the brain. This pressure may cause a loss of blood supply causing paralysis to certain parts of the body.
A severe blow to the head can cause severe damage to the brain. It may cause swelling, bleeding and excessive pressure inside the skull. Many negative impacts are resulting from severe head trauma including paralysis to other parts of the body.
Facial Nerve Infection
Most health concerns resulting from problems with the facial nerve include paralysis, usually with Bell’s palsy. This condition may be caused by a viral infection to the facial nerve (CN7). This nerve extends from the brain stem and serves facial muscles which contract to produce facial expressions.
Facial paralysis can appear suddenly (like with Bell’s palsy) or happen over an extended period of many months (head or neck tumor). Depending on what caused the paralysis, it might last for a long or short period.
Facial Paralysis Treatments
Treating facial paralysis addresses specific symptoms which result from damage to the brain or the facial nerve. These symptoms include a drooping brow, an inability to blink correctly, a weak eye, or the eyelids inability to close correctly.
Steroids have proven to be useful to reduce swelling as well as other drugs like acyclovir. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin may relieve the discomfort. Also, keeping the eyes lubricated with artificial tears, gels or ointments may also be necessary.
Facial paralysis may produce a drooping brow which can lead to asymmetry and affect peripheral vision. A repositioning of the lower and upper lids with a brow lift can restore eyelids to their normal position and protect the eye.
An artificial weight made from gold or platinum can be surgically inserted into the upper eyelid to help with complete eyelid closure.
When a patient can’t close their eyelids completely, they cannot produce tears. Treatments include properly lubricating the eyes with drops and ointment, but the condition may ultimately require surgery.
If you have facial paralysis, you may deal with one or all these symptoms. The severity of the condition and its duration can be assessed and diagnosed by Dr. Kashyap to initiate a treatment strategy. To start the process contact us for a consultation.