Ten months after being diagnosed with “idiopathic peripheral facial palsy,” curvy model and presenter Angelina Kirsch (35) can already smile again, as photos from her appearance on the talk show “Kölner Treff” in mid-April show. “I’m very happy today with how things have turned out. With a bit of bad luck, it could have stayed forever,” she says in a new interview with the magazine “Bunte”. But she also adds: “It’s not yet 100 percent certain that it will really go away completely.”

The facial paralysis is still visible “because a nerve connection has now formed”. However, this is “not unusual for this clinical picture,” explains Kirsch. Specifically, this means: “When I move my upper lip through my normal facial expressions, sometimes the lower eyelid also goes up. It then twitches a little,” says the model. She is working on all of this “with a speech therapist and physical therapy.”

Angelina Kirsch still thinks it’s a good thing that she dealt with her problem openly from the beginning. “I didn’t want to hide anything. Why should I? I knew very quickly that it wouldn’t get better any time soon, but I still had faith that it would go away at some point,” she says, confirming her brave decision.

On the morning of July 24, 2023, Angelina Kirsch woke up with paralysis on one side of her face. The tongue was numb, the sense of taste was gone and the left eye could no longer be closed very well. She reported all of this from day one, when she was quickly diagnosed with “idiopathic peripheral facial palsy” in the hospital. Kirsch further explained in her Instagram post: “To put it simply, this means that my left facial nerve is irritated by viruses or bacteria and is so swollen that this causes the symptoms.” The problems were caused by a herpes infection and initially everything worsened, as the doctors had announced. She was treated with a combination of facial exercises and cortisone.

In September 2023, she gave an update on her health on Instagram: “The smile is still crooked,” she wrote in a recent photo of herself, “but my left side is much more severe than it was a few weeks ago.”

According to the 35-year-old, the most common question is still whether she is afraid that her face will stay that way. Kirsch’s answer was clear back then: “No! First of all, I think that a lot will happen, but I think there’s something to this special laugh too. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m not afraid. What would I couldn’t change that anyway.”

According to the “Deutsches Ärzteblatt”, idiopathic facial paralysis is a sudden weakness of the facial muscles on one side of the face. This is often noticed by the patient themselves when looking in the mirror. An initial symptom can be fluid leakage when drinking. Taste disorders can also occur, as in the case of Angelina Kirsch. Peripheral facial paralysis, such as the presenter’s, must be distinguished from central facial paralysis, which occurs in the case of a stroke.

Facial palsy is the most common cranial nerve disease; in around 75 percent of cases the cause is unknown. Known causes include infections as well as injuries, tumors or autoimmune diseases. In around 80 percent of patients, the nerve is completely restored within three to eight weeks.