Information for Patients
Facial Injuries and Disorders
Face injuries and disorders can cause pain and affect how you look. In severe cases, they can affect sight, speech, breathing and your ability to swallow. Broken bones, especially the bones of your nose, cheekbone and jaw, are common facial injuries.
Certain diseases also lead to facial disorders. For example, nerve diseases like trigeminal neuralgia or Bell's palsy sometimes cause facial pain, spasms and trouble with eye or facial movement. Birth defects can also affect the face. They can cause underdeveloped or unusually prominent facial features or a lack of facial expression. Cleft lip and palate are a common facial birth defect.
Chances are you've bumped your head before. Often, the injury is minor because your skull is hard and it protects your brain. But other head injuries can be more severe, such as a skull fracture, concussion, or traumatic brain injury.
Head injuries can be open or closed. A closed injury does not break through the skull. With an open, or penetrating, injury, an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. Closed injuries are not always less severe than open injuries.
Some common causes of head injuries are falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and sports injuries.
It is important to know the warning signs of a moderate or severe head injury. Get help immediately if the injured person has
- A headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- An inability to wake up
- Dilated (enlarged) pupil in one or both eyes
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
- Loss of coordination
- Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
Doctors use a neurologic exam and imaging tests to make a diagnosis. Treatment depends on the type of injury and how severe it is.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke