A specialized team of physicians, surgeons, and rehabilitation experts at NYU Langone diagnoses and treats people with facial nerve paralysis. Facial nerve paralysis is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. It usually occurs when the seventh cranial nerve—which carries electrical signals from the brain to the facial muscles—is compromised and a person is unable to control the muscles on one side of the face. This can affect the appearance of the face and the ability to use facial expressions to convey emotion.
Sometimes facial nerve paralysis develops very quickly and subsides without the need for intervention, as with a condition called Bell’s palsy. In other instances, the nerve may be permanently damaged. Our neurotologists—doctors who specialize in conditions affecting nerves in the head and neck—work with plastic surgeons and physical therapists using some of the most sophisticated treatments available.
Facial nerve paralysis that occurs as the result of an infection is treated with medication. If the nerve is damaged due to severe trauma or viral inflammation, physicians may recommend decompression surgery to improve the chances of a full recovery. If the facial nerve has been permanently damaged, our surgeons offer a variety of reanimation procedures to restore facial symmetry.
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