Staff face the facts for facial palsy

Wednesday 8th March 2017

Staff face the facts for facial palsy

For a person with facial palsy a smile isn’t always possible to show they’re happy, so staff at the Queen Victoria Hospital held a special awareness day yesterday (7 March) where they all had just one side of their faces painted.

Facial palsy is a term used to explain a weakness of the facial muscles, caused by temporary or permanent damage to the facial nerve. Those with facial palsy will have at least part or all of their face paralysed, and can also have the movement of their eyes and or mouth affected. For someone with the condition, showing they’re happy and other emotions through facial expressions can be extremely difficult.

As the Queen Victoria Hospital runs the UK’s first and largest expert facial palsy service, treating palsy and paralysis patients from across the country, members of its multi-disciplinary team wanted to show there are other ways to be expressive rather than just a smile, face painting staff and patients to raise money for those affected by facial palsy. The team is currently working with charity Facial Palsy UK to develop smart specs that know when you are smiling, specifically to help rehabilitate people with facial palsy. Find out more here.

Dr Ed Pickles, Medical Director at the Queen Victoria Hospital, said: “Facial palsy is a condition which can often make people feel secluded. Raising awareness of the condition, and encouraging those affected to share their experiences, can help others understand the effects of facial palsy and the help and support that is available.”