Facial paresis is a unilateral impairment of motor functions due to damage to the facial nerve. The most characteristic feature is immobility and asymmetry of half of the face. An integrated approach to treatment makes it possible to get rid of paresis of the facial nerve, but the restoration of previous functions can take a long time.
Causes of the disease
The main cause of facial paresis is neuritis, that is, inflammation and swelling of the facial nerve. Neuritis is infectious (herpes virus, rubella) and non-infectious nature. Paresis can occur with acute or chronic otitis media, against the background of diabetes mellitus, with ischemic disease due to a violation of the blood supply to the facial nerve.
The contributing factors include hypothermia, hypertension, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, dental surgery, facial trauma.
In newborns, paresis is more likely to occur due to birth trauma, especially when using forceps.
Symptoms of paresis of the facial nerve
Facial nerve palsy in most cases affects one side of the face. Numbness of the facial muscles occurs, which causes
difficulty in facial expressions, drooping of one eyelid, impaired production of saliva, lacrimal fluid.
Difficulty eating, taste disturbances, dry eyes, hypersensitivity to sounds may occur. Difficulty speaking, there is no facial expression on the affected side. All this causes not only a significant violation of normal daily functions, but also leads to emotional suffering, a deterioration in the patient's social life.
Most of the neuropathies of the facial nerve have a favorable prognosis. Full recovery occurs in 75% of patients, but after three months of paresis, the chances of recovery decrease.
Treatment of paresis of the facial nerve is strictly individual. In mild cases, a simple medical supervision and a course of massage are enough. The restoration of nerve function occurs slowly, up to six months or longer, often there is a need for drug treatment and physiotherapy procedures, and sometimes surgical intervention is required.
Medical treatment includes corticosteroid hormones, which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, and antiviral drugs in case of a viral nature of the disease. Vitamin therapy is based on the use of B vitamins (Neurovitan, Neurobeks, Milgama). If necessary, use artificial tears or moisturizing gels for dry eyes.
Physiotherapy, massage, special exercises for the facial muscles help prevent the long-term effects of paresis. Patients are taught relaxation techniques and biofeedback to relieve pain and tension.
Surgical intervention is possible in cases where no improvement is seen from conservative therapy after 2-3 months of treatment. Decompression of the nerve in the bone canal, stitching of the nerve, its plastics, neurolysis, corrective operations for contractures of facial muscles are performed.