Bell’s palsy is a condition in which muscles become weak or paralyzed suddenly on one side of the face. It affects only one side of the face at a time, causing it to become stiff on that side. The weakness may also affect tear and saliva production, sense of taste may also decrease. However, in very rare cases, Bell’s palsy can affect both sides of the face.

Bell’s palsy is caused by some trauma to the seventh cranial nerve which is also called the “facial nerve.” It is often in people who have diabetes or are recovering from viral infections.

 

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy 

Remember that these symptoms will probably only happen on one side of your face-

  • Sudden paralysis/weakness in one side of the face
  • Unable to close your eyelid or blink
  • Pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Drooling from one side of the mouth
  • Irritation in the eye because it does not blink and becomes too dry
  • Your eye waters more or less than usual
  • Rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face — occurring within hours to days
  • Dropping in parts of the face, such as one side of the mouth
  • Your facial muscles twitch
  • Sense of taste may decrease
  • Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
  • Pain or numbness behind your ear
  • Headache

 

Causes  of Bell’s palsy 

Although the exact reason Bell’s palsy occurs isn’t clear, it’s often related to exposure to a viral infection. Viruses that have been linked to Bell’s palsy include the virus that causes:

  • Cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex)
  • Respiratory illnesses (adenovirus)
  • Chickenpox and shingles (herpes zoster)
  • Flu (influenza B)
  • Infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr)
  • Cytomegalovirus infections
  • Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (coxsackievirus)
  • German measles (rubella)
  • Mumps (mumps virus)

 

Treatment

Patient can recover fully from bell’s palsy — with or without treatment. There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment as such, but your doctor may suggest physical therapy to help speed your recovery.

Physical therapy at SOS PHYSIO

Paralyzed muscles can shrink and shorten, causing permanent contractures. A physical therapist at SOS PHYSIO can teach you how to massage and exercise your facial muscles to help prevent this from occurring.

There are many physical therapy treatments such as Manual therapy & Active Release Techniques (ART) are found to be very effective in treating this type of disorder.
For more information- Contact your local SOS PHYSIO clinic

 

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