Bell’s palsy is making sudden weakness in your facial muscles. You will be feeling that half of your face appears to droop. Also when you are having this disease, then your smile is on one side and on that side you eye resists closing. This disease is also known as facial palsy. Bell’s palsy can occur at any age. The exact reason for this disease is not known. Most medical experts believe that this disease is caused by the inflammation and swelling on the nerves which are controlling muscles on one side of your face. Also this disease can be caused by viral infection. In most cases this disease is temporary. In these cases symptoms are starting to improve after few weeks and patients are completely recovered after six months. But in some cases there is a chance to get this disease for rest of your life. These cases are rare.
Signs and symptoms of Bell’s palsy
These signs and symptoms can come suddenly. They can include:
- Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
- A decrease in your ability to taste
- You can feel pain around the jaw or you can feel this pain in or behind your ear on the affected side
- You will see changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce
- You will have facial droop and difficulty making facial expressions (such as smiling or closing your eye)
- Also you can feel rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face-this condition can occur within hours to days
- In some rare cases this disease can affect the nerves of the both sides of your face
- Flu (influenza B)
- German measles (rubella)
- Genital herpes and cold sores (herpes simplex)
- Mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr)
- Mumps (mumps virus)
- Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (coxsackievirus)
- Respiratory illness (adenovirus)
- Shingles and chickenpox (herpes zoster)
- Cytomegalovirus infections
When you are having Bell’s palsy, the nerve which is controlling your face becomes swollen and inflamed which is caused by the viral infections. Also this nerve affects on your saliva, tears, taste and the small bone which is in your middle ear.
Risk factors: This disease can occur mostly in the people who:
- Have diabetes
- Have an upper respiratory infection (such as cold or flu)
- Are pregnant (in the most cases Bell’s palsy can happen during the third trimester or who are in the first week after giving birth
- Also there are chances if someone from your family had this disease in the past, then you are having increased risk getting this disease. In these cases doctors are saying that you are having genetic predisposition to Bell’s palsy.
When to see a doctor? If you have some kind of paralysis, then you ask for medical help. This paralysis also can be sign of having a stroke. Bell’s palsy is not caused by stroke so you should be sure if you are having Bell’s palsy or not. If you are feeling week and you had in the certain past some diseases, then you must visit your doctor. If your condition is serious, then your doctor will refer you to neurologist. Before you visit your doctor, you should write about all of your symptoms that you are feeling. Also you write personal information about your health. It is good idea to write all the medicines and natural remedies that you have taken in the past. You should tell your doctor if someone from your family had Bell’s palsy. Your doctor can ask you some of these questions:
- When was the first time you had felt your symptoms?
- What are you feeling?
- Are your symptoms constant?
- Had you used some medicines for your condition?
- Have they made your symptoms to improve?
- Have they made your symptoms to worsen?
- Have you some family member which had Bell’s plasy?
He or she will make tests to control your health and to be sure for your disease. He or she will make you EMG which can show how much are damaged your nerves. Also it will make imaging scans to be sure if there is skull fracture or tumor. You should protect your affected eye (which you cannot close). Also your doctor will give you pain relievers to reduce the pain caused by this disease. You should go to physical therapist to massage your face. You will feel relaxing on your face.