Despite the advancements in car design, facial injuries are still a tragic outcome of many St. Louis auto accidents.
Facial injuries are a common occurrence in car accidents. These injuries, depending on the severity, can cause temporary or permanent numbness, or loss of sensation, in parts of the face like the nose, cheeks, and lips. Numbness of the face is caused when there is injury or pressure on the facial nerve called the trigeminal nerve, that emerges from the brain stem. Pressure or injury to the trigeminal nerve can occur due to an automobile accident.
The cause of facial numbness can be detected by a neurological examination, usually conducted with an MRI or a CT scan of the facial area, neck and/or spine.
Types of Facial Injuries
There are a number of different ways the human face can be injured in a St. Louis auto accident. The following are common face injuries:
- Trauma to the nose – In a car accident, if an individual hits the nose hard on any surface, it can cause it to swell. This swelling may put pressure on the facial nerve causing numbness. Often, the numbness goes away once the swelling and pressure subsides.
- Facial Fractures – Severe accidents that have high impact injuries can lead to broken bones and fractures in the facial area. These fractures can cause swelling and thus put pressure on the facial nerve causing numbness. Such major injuries may take longer to heal and thus take more time for the numbness to subside.
- Sensory nerve damage – The trigeminal nerve branches out to different parts of the face. These branches are called dendrites. When there is injury and trauma to the trigeminal nerve or any of the dendrites, there is more chance of permanent damage or paralysis. At times, inflammation of the facial nerve can cause numbness long after the accident and injury. Hence any numbness in the facial area should be checked as soon as possible.
First Aid for Facial Injuries
Correct diagnosis of numbness in the face is essential for proper treatment and good prognosis. It is essential that any injured individual experiencing facial numbness seek immediate medical attention and also take the following steps:
- First, the head should be kept elevated to avoid any blood accumulation in the damaged area.
- Try to minimize the pain and swelling by applying a cool pack to the injured area.
- Avoid pressure on any part of the face.
- If the nose is injured, avoid pressing the nose while sneezing. Sneeze through the mouth and do not blow the nose.
- Avoid lying down and putting pressure on the face.
Treatment for Facial Numbness
CT scans and MRI’s of the face, head, neck and spine can point out to causes of facial numbness. Proper medication along with therapies can help in reducing the numbness effectively. In cases of permanent damage or paralysis, long term therapies can help in reducing the effects but with slow progress. Patients who suffer from trigeminal nerve damage should follow medication and therapy correctly.
Contact a St. Louis Auto Wreck Attorney
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident and have sustained facial injuries due to the negligence of the other driver, you can call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 or fill out our online contact form. Our trained and experienced auto accident lawyers can help get the compensation that you deserve.