If you experience facial weakness or paralysis, you might immediately consider a neurological disorder. However, dysfunction of the facial nerve may be due to an otolaryngologic (ear, nose and throat) disorder.
The facial nerve runs through the middle ear and mastoid (a skull bone), enters the parotid salivary gland and to the muscles that control our facial expression. Therefore, any infections, inflammatory processes or tumors in these regions may lead to facial nerve dysfunction. A nerve disorder may also change your saliva or tear production, your sense of taste, cause sensitivity to loud sounds in one ear or pain around the ear.
If you have any form of facial nerve abnormality, it’s important to be evaluated by a well-trained ear, nose and throat doctor to ensure that a non-neurologic disease is not overlooked and your facial nerve disorder is treated as effectively as possible.
Multidisciplinary care from leading experts: Because facial nerve problems have multiple sources and symptoms, an approach involving experts from many clinical areas provides the most effective means of addressing these conditions. The multidisciplinary team at Weill Cornell Medicine provides a collaborative approach to treating facial nerve disorders. When you choose Weill Cornell Medicine, you have access to a network of doctors and specialists, which may include head and neck surgeons, audiologists, facial nerve physical therapists, facial plastics surgeons and speech therapists.
Weill Cornell Medicine partners with NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the top hospital systems in New York City and the U.S.
Compassionate, comprehensive care founded on cutting-edge research: We understand that the loss of facial movement due to facial nerve disorders can have a significant effect on your speech, eating, drinking and ability to express emotion. We will work together to provide a personalized treatment plan through retraining, medication and surgery when appropriate. Our goal is to help you live as fully as possible.
Weill Cornell Medicine physicians are committed to providing the highest-quality patient care, offering solutions tailored to each patient and utilizing the latest technological advancements. Our physicians are leaders in the field of ear, nose and throat medicine, providing both non-surgical and surgical treatment for facial nerve disorders.
Our team diagnoses and treats:
● Bell’s palsy
● Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a form of shingles that affects the facial nerve near one of your ears
● Salivary gland infection, inflammation or tumor
● Middle ear or mastoid (behind the ear) infection, inflammation or tumor
● Facial nerve infection, injury or trauma
After a thorough evaluation, your doctor will develop a treatment plan based on your specific condition and lifestyle goals. Your care will be based on the latest knowledge and highest standards, using the most innovative therapies and surgical tools. Treatment options for facial nerve disorders include:
● Medication therapies, such as antibiotics, antivirals or steroids
● Botulinum (Botox) injections
● Facial exercises
● Specialized facial surgery
Whether you visit us virtually through a Video Visit or you see us in-person, we will never stop providing the highest standards of care with compassion. You can rest assured that we have taken every step to keep our facilities and locations safe. Learn more about our safety measures and the changes we’ve made to your patient experience.
The physicians at the Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery offer patients the highest level of safety and care. As a top-ranked academic medical center, you have access to our extensive network of specialists who provide seamless care throughout your treatment — to promote long-term physical and mental health.