Everything You Need To Know About Bellís Palsy
What is Bell's palsy?
Bell’s palsy is named after Surgeon Sir Charles Bell’s and also known by another name as facial palsy. It is a condition that leads to temporary weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles.
It usually occurs when the nerve that controls the facial muscles becomes compressed, swollen, or inflamed, which leads to the one side of the face to drop. The facial nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste as well as the process of making tears and saliva.
What causes Bell's palsy?
The actual cause of this condition is still unknown, but Bell’s palsy is usually initiated by symptoms of a viral syndrome.
Other common stimulators are:
- Tooth Extractions
Studies suggest that there is a very close relation between Bell’s palsy and the herpes virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes. HIV, which damages the immune system. Sarcoidosis causes organ inflammation. Herpes zoster virus causes chickenpox and shingles.
Signs & symptoms
Symptoms of Bell’s palsy include:
- Sudden paralysis or weakness of facial muscles especially one side of your face which results in drooping of that side of the face.
- Excessive tearing or a dry eye.
- Pain in or behind the ear.
- Loss of sense of taste.
- Numbness in the affected side of the face.
- Sensitive to sound.
- Difficulty in eating and drinking.
- A headache.
How to diagnose Bell’s palsy?
Your doctor may ask you questions, such as about the symptoms developed and will also examine you physically or neurologically to check facial nerve function.
In case your symptoms are not clear, you may have to go through other tests, such as blood tests, a CT scan, or an MRI.
Treatment & management
In most of the cases, people with Bell’s palsy recover completely in 1 or 2 months without any medication. But some people may have permanent muscle weakness or other associated problems.
Treatment with corticosteroid medicines such as prednisone can help in regaining all facial movement. These medicines work best if taken soon after the symptoms start. Antiviral medicines such as acyclovir may also help to treat Bell’s palsy.
By doing simple facial exercises such as relaxing and tightening your facial muscles may make those muscles stronger and help you to regain the position of facial muscles.
If you find any difficulty in blinking or closing your eye properly, your eye may turn dry that can result in sores and serious vision problems. To protect your eye you must keep it moist by using eye drops. Always wear an eye patch when you sleep and wear glasses for rest of the time.