Facial paralysis: the causes

Peripheral facial palsy

Peripheral facial palsy is the most common. Most often, it results from an inflammation of the facial nerve and is known as frigorous facial palsy or Bell, from the name of the doctor who discovered it. Benign, she was particularly observed after cold snaps, hence its name.

Sometimes it is preceded by acute pain behind the ear (mastoid). Other factors may cause inflammation of the facial nerve and result in peripheral facial paralysis, such as a herpes or zoster virus, or even HIV.

In other rarer cases, the involvement of one of the nerves VII may be related to multiple sclerosis, or to a tumor compressing the passage of the nerve (glioma of the brainstem or neuroma).

It can also be the result of a tumor of the region of the ear or salivary glands, an infection, an inflammatory disease like sarcoidosis ... It is according to the other accompanying signs that one can determine the the origin of this paralysis more precisely, as for example when it immediately follows a cranial trauma (section or compression of the nerve linked to an edema).

The causes are so very numerous and sometimes we find none. Idiopathic facial palsy is then mentioned (for no apparent reason).

Central facial paralysis

Central facial paralysis, which is the least common, may be the consequence of a hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke (CVA) or a brain tumor.

  • Read: Stroke: learn to recognize them in case of emergency

If the affected part is not properly irrigated, necrosis results (cell death). A tumor will compress the part in which it develops. These events can lead to central-type facial paralysis.

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