Pediatric Congenital Facial Palsy

Pediatric Congenital Facial Palsy

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Summary

Facial palsy that is present at birth (congenital) can affect an individual through childhood and into adulthood if not addressed.

Expanded overview

Congenital facial palsy is a loss of facial movement due to nerve damage. Also known as congenital facial paralysis, this condition may occur during fetal development or be caused by a trauma such as a difficult delivery. Congenital facial palsy can be either unilateral (one side only) or bilateral (both sides of the face affected).

Symptoms

Symptoms at birth

A baby with congenital facial palsy can exhibit the following signs and symptoms when they are born:

  • Difficulty nursing
  • Drooping of the mouth to the affected side
  • One or both eyes that do not completely close
  • One side of the face that seems to droop

Symptoms after birth

If not properly treated early in life, an individual with congenital facial palsy can later face one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Problems expressing emotion
  • Problems with speech

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