Bell’s palsy is a weakness that occurs on one side of the facial muscles that is temporary. The affected side of Bell’s palsy face will usually look sag. Generally, this condition occurs in pregnant women, people with diabetes, and HIV.
Damaged nerves on the face will have an impact on the taste senses and the way the body produces tears and saliva. Generally, Bell’s palsy comes suddenly and improves in a matter of weeks.
Please note that Bell’s palsy associated with stroke.
Bell’s Palsy Causes
Here are some of the causes of Bell’s palsy on the face:
- Inherited facial paralysis, this condition occurs in children born with weakness or paralysis of the face.
- Injuries due to accidents, occurring due to a torn wound on the chin or cracks in the skull bone.
- Injuries due to surgery, this condition generally occurs during parotid gland surgery.
- Viral or bacterial infections.
Viruses or bacteria called bell’s palsy causes include:
- Herpes simplex
- HIV that can damage the immune system
- Sarcoidosis causes inflammation of the organs
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Lyme disease caused by a bacterial infection from ticks.
Bell’s Palsy Risk factors
Bell’s palsy risk increases if you:
- Have diabetes
- Have a lung infection
- Have a family history with the condition.
Bell’s Palsy Symptoms
A symptom of Bell’s Palsy is paralysis on one side of the face. The paralysis is shown by a change in the shape of the face so that the sufferer has difficulty smiling symmetrically or closing the eyes on the paralyzed side.
In addition to paralysis on one side of the face, symptoms that can also appear include watery eyes and discharge.
Some of bell’s typical palsy symptoms include:
- One side of the face suddenly weak or completely paralyzed
- Face droops until it is difficult to make facial expressions such as smiling
- It’s hard to close your eyes
- Pain around the jaw or on the inner side of the ear affected by Bell’s palsy
- One of the ears becomes more sound sensitive
- Insensitive taste
- Difficulty eating and drinking
In some rare cases, Bell’s palsy can affect nerves on both sides of the face.
When should You see a doctor?
You need to contact a doctor if:
- Have the above symptoms.
- Exposed to tinnitus (ear ringing), vertigo, or difficulty hearing.
- Parts of the body are weakened or paralyzed.
- Reddened eyes, pain, irritation, or difficulty stopping the tears.
- Experiencing drug side effects.
Sleeping with eyes open disorder
Bell’s palsy complications
Bell’s palsy that is not too severe can usually disappear within a month. However, in more severe cases, the condition can cause various complications, such as:
- Damage to the facial nerves that cannot be cured.
- Abnormal growth of nerve fibers. This condition can cause unwanted muscle contractions as you attempt to move other muscles.
- Partial or complete blindness of the eyes that cannot be closed. This condition can occur due to severe dryness and scratches on the cornea.
Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis
Diagnosis is carried out by the doctor by performing an examination of the facial movements of the sufferer. In addition to physical examinations, a series of follow-up examinations will be carried out, such as blood tests, electromyography, as well as CT scans and MRI scans to determine the cause of facial muscle paralysis.
Bell’s palsy treatment
In most cases, bell’s palsy symptoms improve without treatment. However, it may take several weeks or months for the muscles in your face to regain their normal strength.
The following treatments can help in your recovery.
- Corticosteroid drugs, which reduce inflammation
- Antiviral or antibacterial drugs, which may be prescribed if a virus or bacteria causes your Bell’s palsy
- Free-selling pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which can help relieve mild pain
- Eye drops.
- Blindfold (for your dry eyes)
- Cover your face with a warm, damp towel to relieve pain
- Facial massage
- Physical therapy exercises to stimulate your facial muscles.
Learn more about How To Cure Bell’s Palsy
- Image: Benjaminginterr, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- Video: Dr Medic.