Acute facial nerve paralysis is a condition in which half or part of the face. Suddenly becomes unable to move as expected one day. There are various nerves in the face. But the facial nerve is an important nerve that moves the muscles of the face. This nerve runs through the bones of the ear (temporal bone) after leaving the brain. And when it goes out of the bone, it divides into three branches. In the parotid gland toward the eye, nose, and lips, and each of them is distributed in the muscles.
When something goes wrong with this nerve, facial paralysis occurs.
In this way, most of the nerve running path is in the area of the ear bone, parotid gland, and face, so if you get this disease. It is often the cause in the otolaryngology department. You need to look for it. And we must start treatment for paralysis and the causative disease immediately. The longer the treatment is delayed, the worse the recovery of paralysis.
Facial nerve paralysis symptoms:
Facial nerve paralysis usually occurs in either half of the face. Symptoms include the inability to close the eyes. The drooping of one corner of the mouth. And the spilling of water from the mouth. as half of the face does not move at will. Not only does it hurt your eyes because they don’t close, but it also affects your appearance, so it can be very stressful.
Other symptoms of this illness include loss of taste in the half tongue on the side with paralysis and poor tearing.
Cause of paralysis:
There are various causes of facial nerve paralysis. But the most common is idiopathic paralysis called Bell’s palsy. This happens suddenly without any obvious cause. And it is considered that this is due to swelling of nerves due to circulatory disorders. The next most common is herpesvirus-induced neuritis. In addition, less frequently, neuritis due to otitis media and malignant tumors of the parotid gland can also be the cause.
Method of treatment:
To treat this disease, it is important to investigate the cause first, and if the cause is known. It is necessary to treat it and start treatment for paralysis as soon as possible.
For acute facial nerve paralyzes such as Bell’s palsy and viral paralysis. Hormonal agents called steroids are used at an early stage. In the latter case, an antiviral drug called Zovirax, which is a silver bullet for herpesvirus, is used in combination.
In the case of mild paralysis, it will recover in about 2 to 4 weeks. Recently, it has been found that even severely ill paralysis recovers at a fairly high rate with a large amount of steroid infusion. However, recovery takes time, and the rate of complete cure is not 100%.
What to do with intractable paralysis?
In paralysis, which shows no signs of recovery even after a few months. We recommend that you take the plunge. And perform a surgical treatment called facial nerve deloading. Instead of taking medicine indiscriminately.
As mentioned earlier, the facial nerve runs surrounded by hard bones. So if the nerve swells due to inflammation or circulatory disorders. It may be difficult to improve. In order to improve this condition and help the paralysis recover. The operation is to scrape the bones of the ears to expose the facial nerve and make it easier for the swelling to disappear. (Since the surgery is performed under general anesthesia. There is no pain, but hospitalization for about 2 weeks is required).
So far, the National Sapporo Hospital has performed load reduction surgery. On more than a dozen patients with intractable paralysis. But all patients have seen a marked recovery about half a year after surgery.