Facial weakness is temporary or permanent damage to the 7th cranial nerve that powers facial muscles. This causes facial drooping which is a disfigurement causing secondary negative psychological effects on the patient.
Facial weakness causes an inability to close the eye, dry eye, watery eye, droopy eyelids, droopy cheek, droopy brow, sagging of the mouth and twitching of the eye or corner of the mouth and many other problems. Causes of 7th nerve paresis may include viral infections, middle ear infections, diabetes, injury, or Bell’s palsy.
Treatment starts with consultation to make sure the eye isn’t damaged. Lubricated drops, gels or ointments can be used whilst waiting for the nerve to recover. If not, eyelid surgery helps to reduce the facial asymmetry, and improve appearance and function of the face. There are many other types of surgery offered depending on the patient and severity of disease, and staged surgery is often needed. Facial twitch can be reduced with injectable muscle relaxants, which are also used for anti-wrinkle treatments. The timing of surgery depends on individual clinical circumstances, determined during consultation.