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causes of facial paralysis
print this page The Facial Muscles

with Bells palsy the facial muscles temporarily recieve no signal from the nerve

The face has many muscles, each with its own unique function. Some, but not all, are controlled by CN-VII. These muscles are known as "the muscles of facial expression". Unlike other muscles, the facial muscles insert directly into the skin. Contraction of the muscles causes the skin to move. Signals from the complex array of nerves to the various muscles instruct the muscles to move in combinations as well as individually. Bell's Palsy temporarily prevents the nerve from transmitting signals to the muscles, causing weakness or paralysis. Another way the facial muscles differ from skeletal muscles is that they do not immediately begin to atrophy from lack of use. Estimates of the time it takes for significant atrophy to begin varies, but it is now believed to be years before this occurs.

CN-VII is one of 12 pairs of cranial nerves. This explains why not all the facial muscles are affected. The muscles that close the eyelid are controlled by CN-VII, but the muscles that control other eye movements and the ability to focus are not. Hence, the dry and wide open, but otherwise functioning eye. The sense of taste is affected, but tongue motion is not. Skin sensation may be affected near the ear, but sensation over the rest of the face usually remains normal. Chewing and swallowing are other examples of functions controlled by cranial nerves that are not involved with 7th nerve disorders.

More information about the muscles and their individual functions can be accessed from the link on the exercise page.

 Introduction to Bells Palsy: BELL'S PALSY FAQs

 The nerve associated with Bell's palsy: THE FACIAL NERVE


 Bells palsy / facial paralysis etiology: CAUSES OF FACIAL PALSY


 Effects of Bell's palsy: SYMPTOMS

 Longterm Bells palsy / facial paralysis:: RESIDUAL EFFECTS

 Initial care for Bell's palsy & Ramsay Hunt Syndrome: TREATMENT

 Eye care with facial paralysis EYE PROTECTION

 Bells palsy / facial paralysis muscle retraining: FACIAL EXERCISES

 Botox for longterm effects of Bell's palsy / facial paralysis: BOTOX FOR RESIDUALS


 Physical therapy (facial muscular retraining) following facial palsy: FACIAL RETRAINING

 Bells palsy & facial paralysis treatment facilities: TREATMENT CENTERS

 Live Bells palsy chat CHAT ROOM

 More Bell's palsy information: LINKS

 Bells Palsy Information Site & Forums: SITE INFORMATION


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