A wide range of conditions can lead to facial paralysis, and the degree to which it occurs can vary greatly in children and adults.
Congenital Facial Paralysis
May result from positioning or trauma during pregnancy or be present at birth. For example, Moebius syndrome is a congenital condition in which children are born with undeveloped facial nerves.
Inflammation is responsible for Bell’s palsy, the most common type of facial paralysis. It can appear suddenly when a facial nerve becomes inflamed.
A facial fracture or a deep cut on the face can damage facial nerves and muscles.
Head or Neck Tumor or Growth
A tumor or growth in the head or neck can damage facial nerves. Surgery to remove the tumor may also impact the nerves and result in facial paralysis.
Viruses like HIV, Lyme disease, or Ramsay Hunt syndrome – a shingles-related infection --- can damage facial nerves.
Autoimmune diseases that affect the nervous system, such as Guillain-Barré, or the brain or spinal cord, such as multiple sclerosis, can cause facial paralysis.
This rewiring of the facial nerves can occur after Bell’s palsy or another facial nerve injury. Muscle spasms or the wrong facial movement (for example, your neck muscles tighten when your eye closes) can result.