Bells palsy : Causes, symptoms and treatment of facial muscle paralysis

Bells palsy

Temporary paralysis of facial muscles, with unknown cause is called Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is the disorder of facial muscles control, due to paralysis of facial nerve. Bell’s palsy may affect only one side or both the sides of facial muscles. Brain tumor, stroke, lyme disease and other conditions causes Facial paralysis. If the facial muscle paralysis is of unknown cause is called Bell’s palsy.

Bell’s palsy is named so because Scottish anatomist Charles Bell described this type of facial muscle paralysis. Bell’s palsy is commonly a Mononeuropathy, (single nerve is damaged) causes Acute facial nerve paralysis.

Bell’s palsy is a Idiopathic, unilateral, facial nerve paralysis leads to facial muscle disorder. Bell’s palsy may be complete or partial. Bell’s palsy usually affects one side of facial muscles. Bell’s palsy may start suddenly, with in a day with symptoms such as eye and mouth droops, as one can’t shut them. If not treated within 48 hours of onset, Symptoms becomes worst.

Causes of Bell’s palsy

Usually Bell’s palsy has no definite causes, the believed factors are….

Herpes simplex virus, Chickenpox, Mumps, Herpes zoster (shingles), mononucleosis or HIV, and some bacterial infections causes Facial nerve paralysis or Bell’s palsy.

Pregnant women, diabetic or sick with common cold or flu patients are at risk of getting Bell’s palsy. Viral infection is the common cause of facial nerve swelling.

Lyme disease or Tuberculosis also leads to facial muscle paralysis or bell’s palsy.

Typhoid fever, Syphilis, Tuberculosis, Frequent middle ear infections, leads to bell’s palsy.

Trauma or injury to head or face,

Guillain barre syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Neurosarcoidosis, and other Neurological disorders Can lead to Facial nerve paralysis or Bells palsy.

Nerve compression due any Tumor in the body,

Influenza, Common cold and other viral infections also causes Bells palsy.

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy varies form mild to severe, on the extent of facial nerve paralysis or damage.

Facial weakness or paralysis are the common symptoms with Bells palsy.

Dry eye or mouth and problems tasting,

Bells palsy affects unilaterally, both upper and lower part of the facial muscles. Only one percent of cases may affect with bilateral bells palsy. Along with paralysis of facial muscles,

  • Drooling
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Facial twitching
  • Facial tingling
  • Moderate to severe headache
  • Neck pain,
  • Inability to close or blink the eye,
  • Excess tearing, and dry eyes
  • Impaired sense of taste
  • memory problems
  • Inability to blink or close the eye, tearing, and dry eyes
  • Impaired sense of taste
  • Balance problems,
  • Ipsilateral limb paresthesias,
  • Ipsilateral limb weakness

Treatment of bell’s palsy

Some patients with Bell’s palsy need no treatment, as cure occurs naturally. Three out of four patients need treatment. Most of patients improve within 2 weeks, even with or without treatment. Complete recovery from Bell’s palsy occurs within 4 to 6 months.

Antivirals and corticosteroids are used to treat Bells palsy.

Symptomatic treatment is given to treat Bells palsy.

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