When you welcome a new life into the world, your little one’s health and well-being are often on your mind. After all, even the youngest among us are not exempt from injury or illness. If you notice that your infant or young child has facial nerve paralysis, consider some of the leading causes.
While Bell’s palsy is the most common form of facial paralysis, it’s actually a diagnosis of exclusion—meaning doctors don’t know the true underlying cause. Bell’s palsy manifests as paralysis of one side of the face, sometimes accompanied by ear pain.
Luckily, most babies born with Bell’s palsy fully recover from the condition with proper medical care and supervision.
The underlying cause for this condition is not fully known, and it presents as facial paralysis on both sides of the face. Moebius syndrome can be tricky to diagnose at birth, but your child’s pediatrician may note weak chest muscles and deformities of the eyelids, ears, and lips.
Many children diagnosed with Moebius syndrome live healthy, happy lives. They often benefit from physical and occupational therapy to help them build muscle and perform everyday tasks.
If your child gets sick with a virus like varicella-zoster or Epstein-Barr, their facial nerves may experience paralysis for some time. The varicella-zoster virus often presents with peripheral facial paralysis, as well as ear infections and pain. Meanwhile, the Epstein-Barr virus—best known for causing mononucleosis—can bring gastrointestinal distress along with facial paralysis.
As with many other viruses, the worst of the symptoms generally pass within two to four weeks.
Have you recently brought home a new baby experiencing facial nerve paralysis? Depending on how difficult your labor was, the obstetrician may have used additional force or specialized instruments to help you deliver. Forceps and vacuum extractors, when used improperly or with excessive force, can compromise your baby’s cranium and the nerves that run through it.
If you suspect any hospital negligence that led to facial paralysis, contact an attorney who specializes in negligence and malpractice cases. They can give you high-quality advice on how to move forward.
Do you have an infant or young child experiencing nerve paralysis? Talk to your child’s doctor about these leading causes of facial nerve paralysis and how you can best support your little one’s health.
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