Facial paralysis stems from damage to facial nerves which could have been caused internally (tumours, cerebrovascular diseases, etc.), externally (head injuries, viral infections, exposure to cold, etc.) or genetically (Möbius Syndrome).
Facial paralysis is characterised by the loss of the ability to make facial expressions and also gives rise to difficulties eating, speaking, smiling or closing an eye.
Patients affected by facial paralysis report:
- Difficulty smiling.
- Difficulty completely closing the eye.
This generates ocular problems such as drying of the cornea or infections that can lead to total vision loss in the affected eye.
- Difficulty lifting the eyebrow.
- Sagging of one corner of the lips which causes speech difficulties, problems eating and drooling.
Sometimes facial paralysis disappears on its own.
In cases in which facial paralysis is chronic and has an evolution of more than 1 or 2 years, this technique can no longer be used and the patient should opt for facial reanimation. This technique consists of the transplanting of muscle and nerves from the lower extremities or from the thorax via microsurgery.