Causes of Facial Paralysis

Causes of facial paralysis

If you think that you may be suffering from facial paralysis, you may be wondering what the causes may be. The causes can range from Lyme disease to trauma and surgery. A blood test is one option that will help determine the cause. The results of this test can be available in a few days.

Lyme disease

Facial paralysis is common among patients with Lyme disease, but the cause is not clear. Symptoms are often similar to Bell’s palsy, but the cause is more likely to be Lyme disease. The symptoms tend to be more severe in the young, and patients diagnosed with Lyme disease are more likely to be male. In association with Bell’s palsy, patients with Lyme disease are more likely to be male.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, and the bacteria that cause it damage the nervous system and joints. This damage impacts the facial nerve, which causes facial weakness. Facial paralysis can occur before or after the patient has undergone medical treatment.


Trauma can damage the facial nerves, resulting in paralysis or numbness. The injury can occur anywhere along the nerve’s course, from the brainstem to the facial muscles. In severe cases, the nerve can be completely destroyed. This is known as “neurotmesis” and cannot be repaired by the body on its own. In these cases, direct repair is necessary to regain facial function. Nerve grafting is one option to repair the nerve.

The most common cause of facial paralysis is a head injury. A fracture to the skull can damage the facial nerve, resulting in facial paralysis. Sharp penetrating trauma, such as a gunshot wound, can also cause facial paralysis. Other types of trauma can result in facial paralysis, including iatrogenic trauma, which is caused during surgery.


Surgery for facial paralysis restores facial symmetry and helps the patient smile again. The surgery involves removing the paralyzed portion of a facial nerve and connecting it to another part of the face. This surgery often involves grafting tissue from another part of the body, often a leg. The donor tissue contains connective tissue, which wraps around the paralyzed muscles and provides a strong support structure. The transplanted tissue is attached to the paralyzed muscles to improve facial symmetry and improve speech.

Surgery for facial paralysis can be performed in two main ways. One involves connecting a gracilis muscle to another nerve. Another option involves using a cross-facial nerve graft. In each case, the surgeon and patient will decide which approach is the best one. The procedure requires two to three days of hospital stay.

Congenital condition

A child with a congenital condition that causes facial paralysis can have difficulties interacting with others and with the world. The child can feel different from their peers and may be viewed as being antisocial, unfriendly, or unobservant. For these reasons, it is important to seek the help of a mental health professional to help the child develop self-esteem and develop coping skills. Mental health professionals can also help the child understand and communicate about the condition.

There are many causes of facial paralysis, including developmental defects or birth trauma. Congenital facial paralysis has a low incidence, affecting only one to two percent of live births. Risk factors for the condition include maternal primiparity, birth weight greater than three thousand grams, and forceps use during delivery. Luckily, most cases are treatable and the child can recover full functionality of their seventh cranial nerve within months.

Congenital Bell’s palsy

Congenital Bell’s palsy is a neurological disorder in which the facial nerve becomes inflamed and paralyzes the facial muscles. It can be present at birth or develop later on. It can occur on one or both sides of the face. It is sometimes related to birth trauma, but most cases are associated with developmental abnormalities in the facial nerve. While Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis, other causes can include infection, autoimmune diseases, and surgery. It is usually most severe during the early stages, but may improve over time.

In some cases, the disease may be caused by reactivation of the herpes zoster virus. This infection causes the nerve to become inflamed. This can cause facial paralysis, speech difficulties, and even sensory deafness. Treatment options include oral steroids and antiviral drugs.