Cranial mononeuropathy is a disorder that is evidenced by your cranial nerve VII not functioning like it should. Cranial nerve VII is your facial nerve. Cranial mononeuropathy is a disorder in which you are unable to control your facial muscles on the side that is affected.
There are several different conditions that may result in facial paralysis. These include a brain tumor, Lyme disease or a stroke. However, if no specific cause for your facial paralysis can be discovered, your disorder is probably cranial mononeuropathy.
About 40,000 people are affected by cranial mononeuropathy each year in the United States. Although cranial mononeuropathy can occur at any age, it is rare when it affects anyone under the age of 15 or over the age of 60.
One of the causes of cranial mononeuropathy is when your cranial nerve VII becomes swollen and inflamed due to an infection that is usually caused by a virus. The leading cause of cranial mononeuropathy is the herpes simplex virus. Genital herpes and cold sores are also caused by this same virus. There are also other viruses that have been connected with cranial mononeuropathy. These include the viruses that cause mononucleosis, shingles and chicken pox.
There are several different signs and symptoms that you may have with cranial mononeuropathy. Some of these are:
- Pain that is usually located in your ear on your affected side
- A loss of taste
- Twitching and weakness in your face
- Having a problem with your face drooping or facial expressions
- Pain that is located behind or in front of the ear on your affected side
- Sounds that seem to be louder on your affected side
- Changes in the amount of tears and saliva that your body makes
- The sudden onset of weakness or paralysis on one side of your face that makes it hard for you to smile or close your eye on your affected side
- Drooling because you have a lack of control of your facial muscles
- A dry eye or mouth.
You or a loved one may be suffering with cranial mononeuropathy. Cranial mononeuropathy and/or complications that have developed from it or other ailments that you have along with this disorder may have caused the disability of you or your loved one and be the reason why you are not able to work.