How to Overcome Bell’s Palsy Facial Paralysis

Bells palsy facial paralysis as the name suggests is a form of facial paralysis. There are two facial nerves that run through the human face, one for each hemisphere. These facial nerves are located inside a narrow bone canal which travels from behind the ear. Facial nerves control the facial expressions, sensations, smile, crying, blinking etc. An inflammation in any of the two nerves causes paralysis of the respective half of the face. If the bone canal inflames, it compresses the nerve. This also results in bells palsy.

One of the most widespread causes of bells palsy facial paralysis is the virus Herpes Simplex 1. This virus is extremely contagious and spreads easily. It can spread through physical contact with an infected person or by using common products, utensils etc.  Herpes Simplex 1 is responsible for causing cold sores or fever blisters. A vast percentage of the population is already affected by the virus before the age of 20. The virus however lies dormant most of the time in the human body and surfaces as cold sores. However, it can also irritate the facial nerve and cause bells palsy which occurs over night.

Bells palsy facial paralysis inhibits any muscle movement in the affected part. The patient cannot salivate, cry, smile without a droop or blink his affected eye. The affected eye always remains open, even during sleep. The patient may suffer from severe headaches and hear voices louder than they actually are. Adding to this physical pain is the psychological distress. It takes a long time for the patient to come to terms with bells palsy facial paralysis. It occurs overnight and is too sudden for the patient to get accustomed to. The friends and family are generally unaware of the traumatised mental state of the patient who is unable to do the smallest of things like smiling or blinking.

Bells palsy facial paralysis is different from stroke paralysis. Though both are forms of paralysis, they differ in nature and characteristics. While bells palsy can be recovered in time, stroke paralysis recovery is difficult, if not impossible. While stroke can target any part of the body like the face, arm or leg; bells palsy is restricted to the facial nerve.

To overcome bells palsy facial paralysis without any residuals, it is essential to consult a responsible doctor who would guide you through the phase. He will examine the patient and prescribe for tests like the CT scan or the MRI scan along with additional examinations and reports. These would help him conclude that the patient has not suffered a stroke, tumour or haemorrhage. When nothing in particular is noticed, the patient is diagnosed with bells palsy.

Bells palsy does not require excessive medication or treatment but it does require special care and other precautionary measures that would help protect the affected sense organs, like the affected eye. Prescribed facial exercises, massages and intake of steroids have been found to be extremely effective in reducing the swelling of the facial nerve. Recovery period is ranges from a couple of weeks to months. It also depends of the patient’s will power, support from family and friends, and the body’s recovery time.

Before following any therapy, it is mandatory to take the advice of your doctor. While some may overcome the ailment without any after effects, some patients may be left with a mild asymmetry of the face or an impaired speech disorder.   Incomplete recovery in bells palsy is rare but it certainly cannot be ruled out.  Any negligence can lead to life time regret.

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