26 Oct Bell’s Palsy: Causes, Symptoms and Physiotherapy
What is Bell’s palsy?
Are you suffering from a sudden weakness and chronic pain in one side of your facial muscles? Are you finding difficulty in closing your eyes? Then you are definitely suffering from Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or severe pain in one side of your face. It is also known as facial palsy. It occurs when the nerve that controls your facial muscles becomes swollen and inflamed. Bell’s palsy can happen to anyone but most often it seems to happen to people who are recovering from viral infections and have diabetes as well.
What are the causes of Bell’s palsy?
Damage to the facial muscles, which causes inflammation and some kind of trauma in the 7th cranial nerve causes Bell’s palsy. This nerve controls most of the facial muscles. That nerve goes through the brain to the face, – when the signals are being sent from the brain to the facial muscles, they are not passed on properly.
Experts believe that Bell’s palsy is caused mainly due to diabetes and certain viruses/bacteria like,
- Viral influenza
- Mumps virus
- Lyme disease
- Sarcoidosis (organ swelling)
- Shingles viruses
What are the symptoms of Bell’s palsy?
The symptoms of Bell’s palsy come all of sudden. You may feel fine in night but the next morning you see that one part of your face seems to be drooping. One may suffer from the pain behind their ear from 1-2 days before the weakness. When the facial muscles start damaging the following symptoms can occur:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Sudden paralysis/weakness in the face
- Difficulty in closing the eyelid or blinking
- Pain behind the ear of the affected part
- Difficulty in smiling or making any facial expressions
- Difficulty in eating and drinking
- Drooling from one side of the mouth
- Taste in the mouth changes
- Irritation in the eye due to dryness
- Difficulty in breathing
If you have any of the above symptoms, immediately call an expert doctor to diagnose and start the treatment as soon as possible. The symptoms can turn into a serious conditions like stroke or brain tumor if kept without any treatment for a long period of time.
Risk factors for Bell’s palsy:
Your risk of Bell’s palsy increases if you
- have diabetes
- have lung infection
- have arthritis
- are pregnant
- are 20-60 years of age
- have a family history of Bell’s palsy
Physiotherapy treatments for Bell’s palsy:
Physiotherapy for Bell’s palsy treatment may consist of facial massage, exercise, and electrical stimulation. Bell’s palsy causes temporary weakness or paralysis in the facial muscles. Some people recover from facial palsy within one year or some may recover within one month. To get a better result and to recover more quickly, one should take physiotherapy treatment, which includes:
- Facial Massage
- Electrical Stimulation
- Face Exercises
- Kabat Rehabilitation
Most of the time, symptoms are temporary. You may think that you are having a stroke, which is not the case. So, physiotherapy treatment can definitely help to improve your problem.
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