What are facial nerve disorders?

Twitching, weakness or paralysis of the face are the most common symptoms of facial nerve disorders.

Symptoms

Twitching, weakness or paralysis of the face are the most common symptoms of facial nerve disorders.

Causes

Facial nerve disorders can be caused by traumatic injury, or result from medical conditions such as Bell’s Palsy or herpes zoster oticus (shingles in the ear).

Diagnosis

After an examination of the head, neck, and ears, a series of tests may be performed. These may include:

Hearing Test
Determines if the cause of damage to the facial nerve also involves the middle and/or inner ear.

Balance Test
Evaluates balance nerve involvement.

Imaging
CT (computerized tomography) and/or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) determine if there is infection, tumor, bone fracture, or other abnormality in the area of the facial nerve.

Electroneurography ENOG
Stimulates the facial nerve to assess how badly the nerve is damaged. This test may have to be repeated at frequent intervals to see if the disease is progressing.

Treatment

Dr. Shohet is sensitive to the many issues related to facial nerve disorders. In order to ensure the best possible outcome, he uses a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat these conditions, working closely with patients to help overcome the effects of their disease or injury through medication, physical rehabilitation, and/or surgery. Hearing, facial nerve and balance problems can have a major impact on relationships, professional aspirations and quality of life.

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