As we progress through a day, we make several voluntary movements such as arching the brows, smiling, closing our eyes and movements of lip and cheeks. Yet, seldom do we realize that all of these movements are under the control of a nerve. Yes, cranial nerve 7 to be precise. And the startling fact is that any damage to this nerve could cause facial paralysis.
What is facial paralysis?
Facial paralysis is the loss of facial movement caused due to damage to the 7th cranial nerve or the facial cranial nerve. Basically, the face appears saggy or droopy and the facial muscles become weak. It can occur on either side of the face or both, at once.
Some common causes of a facial nerve palsy would be a severe head injury or trauma, a stroke or a neck or head tumor. It can appear suddenly like Bell’s palsy or gradually over a period such as the case of a tumor. It may last for a short time or a longer time period.
What causes Facial Palsy?
Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis. This condition causes inflammation of the facial nerve due to which muscles on one side of the face end up being droopy. There is no known reason as to why it occurs, but fortunately, most people suffering recover in about six months, completely.