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Facial Nerve Disorders

Bell's palsy is only one type of facial nerve disorders. We evaluate and treat a wide range of facial nerve disorders, including:

Facial spasms

Facial spasms, or hemifacial spasm, are disorders characterized by intermittent spasms of facial muscles, the side of the face or the eye.

This condition can be caused by sensitivity of the nerve or pressure from a blood vessel on the brain. Spasms are treated using BOTOX® injections or by doing surgery to remove the blood vessel that is pressuring the nerve. 

Ramsay Hunt syndrome

This condition, also known as herpes zoster oticus, occurs when the shingles virus affects the facial nerve. Patients will often have pain in the ear and some blisters around the ear or in the ear canal.

This disorder is treated similarly to Bell's palsy. The likelihood of recovery to normal function in this disorder is 50 percent to 60 percent, compared to Bell's palsy, in which 80 percent to 90 percent of people recover.

Facial neuroma

Facial neuroma (also called facial schwannoma) is a tumor of the facial nerve. This slow-growing tumor can cause facial paralysis as it grows.

The treatment is surgical removal of the tumor, and the nerve is replaced with a nerve from the leg or neck. The recovery of the function is never complete, but tone can be restored with some movement. Sometimes if the tumor is discovered and it is not causing facial paralysis, the tumor may be observed over time and removed only after it causes facial paralysis.

Paralysis from trauma

Trauma to the nerve, either from cutting the nerve or fracture of the bone surrounding the ear (temporal bone), can cause paralysis of the face. The treatment depends on the time of the injury, the location, and the onset and extent of the paralysis.

To make an appointment to have your facial paralysis evaluated, call our specialists at 714-456-7017 or request an appointment through our secure form ›

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