Facial palsy treatment

Facial palsy treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with facial palsy, you will likely make a full recovery. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. However, medication or physical therapy may reduce the amount of time you experience symptoms.                                                                          

Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, can help reduce the swelling of the facial nerve caused by some types of facial palsy, including Bell’s palsy. Physical therapy can help prevent muscle contractions caused by the paralysis. Decompression surgery is no longer used to relieve pressure on the facial nerve. 

Our approach

The Nerve Disorders Center of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute provides the most advanced diagnosis and treatment for facial palsy. Your team of specialists will be comprised of a multidisciplinary team of peripheral nerve disorders clinicians including physicians, nurse practitioners, psychological care providers and rehabilitation professionals.

Facial palsy treatment risks

Side effects of corticosteroids used to treat facial palsy include:

  • Fluid retention
  • High blood pressure
  • Behavioral changes
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach lining irritation / gastric ulcers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Increase in blood sugar

What to expect after treatment

Symptoms of a mild case of facial palsy often resolve within a few weeks. For more severe cases, there can be long-term complications, including:

  • Permanent damage to the facial nerve
  • Involuntary contraction of facial muscles due to misdirected regrowth of nerve fibers
  • Irritation of the eye caused by an inability to fully close it, in severe cases leading to vision loss