Waking up with one side of your face drooping and numb can be very scary. In this instance, it is important to go to a doctor for testing. That way, a doctor can evaluate a patient’s facial weakness.
I Can’t Open My Mouth All the Way — What Should I Do Next?
Those who struggle to open their mouth or have less muscle control on one side of the face after they wake up should go to an emergency room or primary care physician. They can then receive a comprehensive physical examination focusing on the neurological, ear, and head and neck region. An MRI and/or CT scan may also be necessary to help figure out the reason for the paralysis right away.
Can Partial Facial Paralysis Occur Due to COVID-19?
It is unclear if a coronavirus (COVID-19) infection can cause partial facial paralysis or facial weakness. Research indicates that patients can experience Bell’s palsy symptoms in conjunction with COVID-19. However, reports of COVID-19 and Bell’s palsy occurring at the same time are rare.
In addition, those who receive COVID-19 vaccinations may be susceptible to Bell’s palsy symptoms. There have been instances of Bell’s palsy reported in U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews of COVID-19 vaccines.
Research into the link between COVID-19 and facial paralysis is ongoing. Those who believe they are dealing with a COVID-19 infection should get tested immediately, regardless of whether they experience facial paralysis symptoms. And, for those who experience partial facial paralysis or facial weakness after a COVID-19 vaccination, they should seek out medical assistance. A doctor can then perform testing to determine the underlying cause of a patient’s facial paralysis symptoms.
Why Does Facial Paralysis Occur?
People can experience partial facial paralysis or facial weakness due to a viral infection or other reasons. With proper testing, a doctor can find out why a patient’s facial paralysis symptoms are occurring and treat them accordingly.
How Is Facial Paralysis Treated?
If no specific cause is discovered for facial paralysis symptoms, a patient may be diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. At this point, the patient may receive antiviral and steroid medications to treat their symptoms.
If anyone suggests getting electric stimulation therapy for facial paralysis, it’s best to avoid this therapy. Electric stimulation therapy can inadvertently hamper a patient’s ability to regain full facial movement.
Patients who deal with facial paralysis symptoms that persist for eight months or longer should contact The Facial Paralysis Institute. They can schedule an initial consultation with facial nerve expert Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, who can evaluate a patient and offer a personalized facial paralysis treatment recommendation.
Each treatment is customized to a patient and their facial paralysis symptoms. Dr. Azizzadeh may recommend a wait-and-see approach in the hopes that a patient’s facial paralysis symptoms will disappear on their own. Or, he may recommend Botox treatments, meeting with a physical therapist who specializes in facial reanimation, and/or surgery.
Schedule a Facial Paralysis Treatment Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh
Dr. Azizzadeh is available to meet with patients and evaluate their facial paralysis symptoms. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact us online or call us today at (310) 657-2203.
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