Facial palsy

Facial palsy generally occurs due to the weakness of the facial muscles. It primarily results from the permanent or temporary paralysis of the facial nerve. The face cannot receive the signals for proper functioning due to dysfunctional or missing facial nerves. It may affect facial expression and cause drooping eyelids, sensitivity to light, altered taste, and difficulty eating and speaking.

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  • Bell’s palsy: It is a neurological condition that involves sudden muscle weakness on one side of the face. The other symptoms of Bell’s palsy include facial droop, headache, problems in making facial expressions, increased sound sensitivity, jaw pain, loss of taste, drooling, and altered tear and saliva production. The exact cause for Bell's palsy is unknown; however, most cases are associated with viral infections.
  • Ramsay Hunt Syndrome: It is also known as Herpes Zoster Oticus. The condition involves a painful rash on the face, around the ear, or mouth. The facial nerve is also affected due to the shingles outbreak. It may lead to paralysis of the face and loss of hearing in the affected ear. The complications of Ramsay-Hunt syndrome are eye damage, permanent facial weakness or hearing loss, and postherpetic neuralgia.
  • Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia bacteria. The initial symptoms of Lyme disease include headache, joint stiffness, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. As the disease progresses, patients experience rashes, muscle weakness, altered heartbeat, and weakness and numbness in the hands and feet. Neurological symptoms occur when the bacteria affect the central or peripheral nervous systems. Involvement of the cranial nerve causes facial palsy on one or both sides of the face.
  • Moebius Syndrome: It is a rare birth defect characterized by the underdevelopment or absence of the sixth and seventh cranial nerves that control facial expression and eye movement. The symptoms of Moebius syndrome are complete paralysis or weakness of the facial muscles, difficulty speaking and swallowing, dental problems, cleft palate, hearing disorders, eye conditions, such as crossed eyes and dry and irritated eyes, and anomalies of the chest wall.
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome: It is a rare neurological condition characterized by repeated episodes of facial swelling, furrows in the tongue, or facial paralysis. It is also known as Orofacial Granulomatosis and may be a sign of future Sarcoidosis or Crohn’s disease.