How to Cope with Bell’s Palsy During Pregnancy

No decisive pattern or consistent trait has been noticed in people who have been diagnosed with bells palsy disabling the researchers to track any early symptoms or make a risk analysis. But a general study shows that chances of bells palsy during pregnancy are relatively higher than the rest of the population. In the absence of any conclusive theory, many doctors have tried to explain this trait with their various theories.

Bells palsy is the result of an inflammation in the facial nerves which renders the facial muscles ineffective in turn paralysing the face. Typically one half of the face becomes paralysed while the other half can still respond to senses. Bells palsy can be difficult to cope with for the patient may suffer from troubles ranging from severe headaches, dizziness to blurred speech. It also leads to abnormal blinking, impaired sense of taste and facial distortion. Patients cannot close, blink, squeeze or cry with the eye of the affected side which remains open all the time. Even during sleep. With all the above clubbed with the third trimester of pregnancy, bells palsy during pregnancy can be a traumatic experience.

Women, who are only a couple of months short of their delivery, are the ones who have been found to be the most susceptible to bells palsy. Some theories suggest that bells palsy during pregnancy can be followed by hypertension. And can also be a result of hypertension. Stress levels have been known to have an inverse relationship with the body’s immunity levels. An increase in the stress levels decreases the immunity levels of the body making it more susceptible to diseases and attacks from virus like the Herpes Simplex 1 which is responsible for causing the inflammation of the facial nerves leading to bells palsy.

To avoid such complications, women are advised to rest and relax during pregnancy to decrease the stress levels and increase immunity. Correct medical guidance, good diet and a healthy mind would help keep the ghost of bells palsy during pregnancy away from you.

Some theories also hold the increase in body fluid during pregnancy responsible for bells palsy during pregnancy. This increased body fluid fills the already narrow space between the facial nerve and the bone canal, compressing the facial nerve to lead to bells palsy.

However, bells palsy during pregnancy has not been known to affect the foetus. This is because almost every individual is infected with Herpes Simplex before the age of 20 which only surfaces as cold sores commonly. In some cases, it surfaces as bells palsy. Passing of the virus from the mother to the child does not guarantee a bells palsy attack to the child.

Treatment and medication of bells palsy during pregnancy becomes increasingly difficult since steroids and antiviral medicines may pose threats to the growing foetus. It has also been noticed that post delivery, there is a sudden improvement in the condition of the mother, if not complete. Bells palsy during pregnancy can take away the joy of child birth. The traumatising experience and post delivery therapies can keep the mother engrossed and generally away from the baby. Looking back at their pregnancy tenure, the mother is generally horrified and does not hold pleasant memories. Also, there is always that lingering fear of another attack during the second pregnancy.

The reason and frequency of bells palsy during pregnancy has not been explained decisively medically. This makes tracing of the ailment and its subsequent treatment very difficult. In case, a trait can be identified amongst people or a more conclusive theory can be used to explain the relationship between pregnancy and bells palsy it would make the treatment and diagnosis more progressive than it already is.

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