Facial neuritis is an inflammation of the nerve that connects the facial muscles of one of the halves of the face with the central nervous system. As a result of inflammation, the muscles of the face weaken, which leads to a decrease or complete absence of facial movements. A common cause of neuritis is hypothermia in the ear or neck area.
Symptoms of facial nerve neuritis
In most cases, neuritis of the facial nerve progresses gradually. First, there is pain in the area behind the ear, and after one or two days, facial asymmetry appears. On the side of the face where the affected nerve is located, the nasolabial fold is smoothed, the corner of the mouth descends and the eyelids open wide. The patient cannot close them, and is also unable to control the facial muscles. He cannot smile, frown or raise his eyebrows, or make pronounced movements with his lips.
The front part of the tongue, which also depends on the facial nerve, completely or partially ceases to taste. Also, with facial neuritis, dry eyes, lacrimation and salivation may occur.
Treatment of facial nerve neuritis
Treatment of the disease is carried out with the use of glucocorticoids, vasodilators and decongestants, as well as vitamins of group B. To eliminate pain, analgesics are used.
During the first week of the disease, the muscles of the face should be at rest, therefore massage is contraindicated during this period. From the first days of neuritis development, physiotherapy procedures using infrared radiation can be carried out. From about 5-6 days of illness, a course of electromagnetic therapy (UHF) can be prescribed. Paraffin and ozokerite applications can be used at the same time.
From the second week of the disease, the main therapeutic procedures are massage and physiotherapy exercises for the muscles of the face with a gradual increase in load. At the end of the second week of treatment, anticholinesterase drugs are prescribed that improve neuromuscular conductivity (Galantamine, Proserin), as well as Dibazol, which has an antispasmodic effect.
Phonophoresis of hydrocortisone and ultrasonic physiotherapy are used as additional therapeutic procedures. If the nerve is recovering slowly, it is possible to prescribe medications to improve metabolic processes in the nerve cells, such as Nerobol. In some cases, electroneurostimulation is also used. If within 2-3 months the facial nerve is not fully restored, a course of treatment with Lidaza and biogenic stimulants such as FiBS is performed.
Full recovery occurs in about 75% of cases. However, if the disease lasts more than three months, the chances of complete restoration of the facial nerve are significantly reduced.