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Facial nerve palsy

  • Definition

    Facial nerve palsy is a nervous system disorder in which a damaged nerve in the skull affects the movement of the muscles of the face.

    It is a form of cranial mononeuropathy VII.

    See also:

    • Bell's palsy (another form of cranial mononeuropathy VII)
    • Mononeuropathy

    Alternative Names

    Neuropathy - facial; Cranial mononeuropathy VII; Seventh cranial nerve palsy

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Facial nerve palsy occurs when there is damage to the seventh cranial (facial) nerve. It is a type of mononeuropathy. The seventh facial nerve is located in the skull. It controls movement of the muscles of the face. It also affects feeling in the ear canal and the sense of taste.

    This type of nerve damage may occur with local growths, such as a tumor, that put pressure on the facial nerve.

    Facial nerve palsy may also be caused by:

    • HIV infection
    • Lyme disease
    • Sarcoidosis

    It also may have no obvious cause.