Cranial nerve 7, which can also be referred to as the facial nerve, controls motion of the face, together with the brow, eyelids, cheeks, mouth, and jaw. The facial nerve could be broken on account of trauma, irritation, infections, or illness.
Injury to this nerve could cause facial weak spot, in addition to inadequate tears and saliva, a diminished sense of style, and decreased sensation behind the ears. Relying on the trigger, therapy of cranial nerve 7 injury can embrace remedy, bodily remedy, electrical stimulation methods, and surgical procedure.
This text will focus on the construction and performance of cranial nerve 7, accidents and impairments to this nerve, and when to see a healthcare supplier.
Cranial nerve 7 emerges from the mind stem on the stage of the pons, which is the center part of the mind stem. The left and proper cranial nerve 7 are symmetric in construction and performance.
From the mind stem, which is in the back of the neck, the nerve winds round towards the face. Cranial nerve 7 has many branches, which result in the small muscular tissues of the face, glands of the eyes and mouth, and sensory fibers behind the ear.
If one cranial nerve 7 is broken, it would trigger weak spot of the entire facet of the face, together with the brow.
Cranial nerve 7 has a number of features. Essentially the most outstanding operate is motion of the face. Facial actions embrace blinking, opening the eyes, elevating the eyebrows, smiling, puffing out the cheeks, and pursing the lips.
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A few of these actions are voluntary (on goal) and a few are involuntary (not on goal). Involuntary actions embrace blinking when one thing is coming towards your eyes. Motion is managed within the following methods:
- The left cranial nerve 7 controls motion on the left facet of the face.
- The suitable cranial nerve 7 controls motion on the proper facet of the face.
This nerve additionally helps produce tears and saliva, contributes to style sensation, and has some sensory operate behind the ears.
Damage or Impairment
Typically, medical issues or accidents could cause diminished operate of cranial nerve 7, both completely or quickly. This causes paralysis (weak spot) of some facial actions. Impairment of cranial nerve 7 could cause partial paralysis (paresis) or full paralysis (plegia) of the affected components of the face.
Bell’s palsy is the commonest situation that impacts cranial nerve 7. This situation causes weak spot on one facet of the face. It's believed to be related to irritation or an infection, however it's often thought of idiopathic—which signifies that it has no identifiable trigger.
Bell’s palsy could be distressing, but it surely isn’t harmful, and it usually resolves after weeks or months. Different causes of facial weak spot (akin to a stroke or an infection) usually should be thought of and dominated out earlier than Bell’s palsy is recognized. Remedy with oral steroids might velocity up restoration.
Different issues that may have an effect on cranial nerve 7 embrace trauma, which could be a results of an accident, a dental situation, or a surgical complication. Typically these accidents can result in everlasting facial weak spot. In some cases, a surgical process could also be achieved to restore the nerve and related muscle injury.
A tumor, abscess, viral an infection, nerve illness, or inflammatory illness can even trigger injury to cranial nerve 7. These situations could be handled, and the nerve operate might get well with therapy.
Problems of facial nerve injury might embrace issue consuming. Additionally, as a result of issues with cranial nerve 7 can have an effect on an individual's skill to blink, injury might end result to the conjunctiva (the floor of the white a part of the attention) or the cornea (the floor of the coloured a part of the attention and the pupil).
These points require consideration, akin to eye patching to guard the attention from dryness and injury or swallowing remedy to assist with protected chewing and consuming.
Rehabilitation to enhance facial nerve operate after an impairment or damage can embrace bodily remedy or electromyographic suggestions methods. On this course of, electrical impulses of the facial muscular tissues are measured and displayed, and the particular person learns what stimulates motion.
When to See a Healthcare Skilled
When you develop any signs of cranial nerve 7 impairment, it’s necessary that you simply get immediate medical consideration.
- Droopy eyelid or decreased skill to open the attention
- Incapacity to totally shut the attention
- Flat or droopy look of any a part of the face, on one facet or each side
- A lopsided smile
- Bother talking, chewing, or swallowing
- Bother transferring the tongue
These signs could be brought on by a well being drawback involving cranial nerve 7 or by a situation affecting the mind, akin to a stroke (a blockage of blood move or bleeding within the mind) or a tumor.
Cranial nerve 7 controls motion of the face, and it additionally has a job in sensation behind the ear and in making tears and saliva. The commonest situation affecting cranial nerve 7 is Bell’s palsy, a distressing situation that isn’t dangerous.
Nevertheless, there are various different situations that may have an effect on cranial nerve 7, and Bell’s palsy is usually a prognosis of exclusion—which means that different causes of cranial nerve 7 weak spot usually should be dominated out earlier than a prognosis of Bell’s palsy is made. Problems of cranial nerve 7 issues can embrace corneal damage and issue consuming.
A Phrase From Verywell
You probably have a situation affecting cranial nerve 7 operate, it’s necessary that you simply get medical consideration. It may be tense to not be capable to transfer the muscular tissues of your face the way in which you need to, and it’s distressing to see that your face seems lopsided.
Facial nerve weak spot is greater than only a beauty concern—it might trigger hurt to your eyes or it may be a choking hazard. Most cranial nerve 7 issues are treatable. As you get well, it’s necessary to keep up bodily remedy so you'll be able to regain as a lot management of your facial actions as potential.