Il nervo faciale, settimo nervo cranico, è il responsabile della motricità del muscolatura mimica del volto cosi come del muscolo stapedio, della secrezione lacrimale e salivare oltre ad avere funzioni sensitive (zona di Ramsey-Hunt, padiglione e condotto uditivo esterno) e sensoriali (gusto).

Nervo Faciale VII Paio n. cranici

Un’ affezione a carico di questo nervo puo’ condurre ad una paralisi faciale, la più comune delle quali é quella periferica acuta idiopatica, detta a frigore, che interessa tutto l’ emilato del volto e le cui caratteristiche semiologiche sono patognominiche e facili da riconoscere:

– Scomparsa delle rughe frontali 
– Abbassamento del sopracciglio 
– Allargamento della finestra palpebrale 
– Scomparsa della piega nasogeniena 
– Abbassamento della commessura labiale 

La patologia si instaura brutalmente, la mattina al risveglio o dopo un esposizione al freddo ed é spesso preceduta da dolore retroauricolare e peracusia (alterata funzionalità dello stapedio). Generalmente é scatenata dalla compressione esercitata da una neuropatia edematosa legata ad un processo infiammatorio o virale, quindi l’ evoluzione è normalmente spontanea e favorevole, con un recupero entro i 2 mesi nella maggior  parte dei casi. Etiologicamente non si esclude l’ esistenza di altre cause, meno frequenti, tra le quali vale la pena ricordare il diabete.

Il trattamento della paralisi faciale a frigore consiste nella prevenzione di complicazioni oculari come la cheratite, legata ad un deficit funzionale della lacrimazione e la prescrizione di corticoterapia orale da effettuare fin dalle prime ore per favorire un recupero completo.

Foto e descrizione | Grazie ad Antonio J. Zitiello

Domenico Posa
Amministratore e Facebook Manager | Frequento Scuola di Medicina e Chirurgia presso l'Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro." Fondatore ed ideatore del progetto "La medicina in uno scatto" | email - domenico.posa@gmail.com

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