Because the facial nerve (the 7th cranial nerve) winds through the ear, disorders of the middle and inner ear can affect it. For example, may affect the facial nerve as well as the auditory nerve (the 8th cranial nerve). The facial nerve then swells and presses against the opening in the skull that it passes through. The pressure on this nerve can cause temporary or permanent facial paralysis (inability to move muscles) on the affected side, inability to fully close the eye, and drooping of the face. Treatment depends on the disorder causing the problem.