Facial Nerve Paralysis Symptoms & Causes

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Causes of Facial Nerve Paralysis

When facial nerve paralysis is congenital (present at birth), it may be related to:

  • Moebius syndrome
  • Asymmetric Crying Facies, a minor birth defect that causes a lopsided appearance of the lower lip because the muscle controlling the lip is weak or underdeveloped on one side
  • Cayler cardiofacial syndrome, a very rare condition in which a child is born with both congenital heart defects and a weak or missing muscle that controls his lower lip
  • Congenital Unilateral Lower Lip Paralysis, a condition in which one side of the child’s lower lip is weak
  • hemifacial microsomia

However, it’s important to note that—most often—children are born with facial nerve paralysis (typically affecting one side only) that has no identifiable cause.

Causes of acquired facial nerve paralysis

Children can develop facial nerve paralysis later in life because of:

Signs and symptoms of Facial Nerve Paralysis

Symptoms may vary from child to child, but often include:

  • asymmetric or “lopsided” appearance of the eyes, mouth or an entire side of the face
  • excessive drooling
  • food or liquid falling out of the child’s mouth when she tries to eat or drink
  • difficulty closing the eyes/blinking
  • inability to make normal expressions (smiling, frowning, raising the eyebrows)
  • pain around or behind one ear
  • excessive sensitivity to loud sounds
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