Bell’s palsy or facial nerve disease is a neurological condition that causes paralysis or weakness on one side of the facial muscle. his condition causes one side of the face will look sag and temporary due to inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve.
This seventh cranial nerve is responsible for transmitting the signals between the brain and the muscles which allow performing face actions such as blinking, chewing, and projecting emotional expressions. Usually, bell’s palsy comes suddenly and can be fully recovered in weeks with proper medical treatment.
Bell’s Palsy Causes and Diagnosis
The cause of this nerve irritation is still not known clearly. However, some types of virus infections are suspected to be the cause of this condition such as herpes simplex (HSV), varicella-zoster virus, Epstein Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus.
To diagnose Bell’s palsy, the doctor will evaluate your condition. Diagnosis often involves a visual examination and movement tests. Other tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scan can help determine the cause of the paralysis.
Moreover, electromyography can help confirm the extent of the nerve damage. If the doctor does not find any other conditions, it can be concluded that the symptoms occur is due to Bell’s palsy.
Get Quick Medical Answer from a Doctor. Just Ask!
Have a medical problem? Connect one-on-one with verified Doctors online or by phone. Pediatricians and other specialists available 24/7.ASK A DOCTOR NOW!
Bell’s Palsy Symptoms
Bell’s palsy has different symptoms in some people. The paralysis that occurs on one side or both side of the face can be explained as paralysis (mild muscle weakness) or as total paralysis (no movement at all). This paralysis depends on the damage sustained by the cranial nerve. Here are the common symptoms:
- Difficulty to open or close the eyes and mouth
- Ear pain on the facial side of paralysis
- Ear is more sensitive to the sound
- Ringing in one ear or both
- Decreasing the sense of taste
- The affected mouth will be easy to drool and dry
- The onset of pain around the jaw and headache
- Difficulty in eating, drinking and talking
Bell’s Palsy Treatments
Actually, the symptoms are getting better in two or three weeks, but to be fully recovered will require about nine months. There are several options you can try to help bell’s palsy:
- Physical Therapy. Physical therapy with various massages and exercises are crucial for facial paralysis to prevent muscles from weakening and shrinking.
- Eye Protection. If your condition has affected your ability to close eyes, make sure your eye does not dry out. Lubrication is important to maintain eye health and keep away from infections.
- Mime Therapy. This therapy is practicing miming techniques or facial expression exercises to improve your recovery.
- Acupuncture and Vitamin B Consumption. Acupuncture is an alternative to treat it naturally. Consumption of foods rich in various vitamins B can maintain a healthy nervous system.