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Bell’s palsy is a neurological disorder that affects the cranial nerves of the face. This causes weakening and drooping of the facial muscles towards one side, thus making it difficult for the person to smile and blink the eye.
Bell’s palsy also known as facial palsy is assumed to occur due to inflammation of a nerve that controls the facial muscles. This condition may also occur in diabetic people recovering from viral infections. Facial palsy may affect people of any age group. However, the exact cause of the condition is not known.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Bell’s palsy may include:
In rare cases, Bell’s palsy is known to affect the cranial nerves of both sides of the face. Complete paralysis and Bell’s palsy differ from each other, as the former cause’s neuronal impairment of one side of the body, while the later causes neuronal impairment of only the face.
The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is not known, however, swelling or compression the facial nerve can lead to weakened or paralyzed facial muscles. It is also said that viral infections may be a cause for the inflammation of the nerve that control the muscles of the face. The cause of Bell’s palsy is linked to the following viral infections:
The incidence of risk factors is greater in the following individuals suffering from:
The complications of Bell’s palsy may vary from mild to severe conditions such as:
Bell’s palsy is usually diagnosed through physical findings of the facial movement of the eyes, cheek, jaw and the eyebrows. However, there is no special marker or test for the diagnosis of Bell’s palsy.
Bell’s palsy can be treated either through medication therapy or through surgery. However, most people recover normally without the use of any medicines.
The medication therapy may include the use of corticosteroid and antiviral drugs.
Physical therapies such as massage and facial exercises help in treating the symptoms of facial palsy. This therapy is usually recommended along with surgery or medication therapy to provide complete cure from the condition.
Coping and Management
Bell’s palsy is curable and the recovery period is usually about six months. However, in rare cases, the condition may recur.
Bell’s palsy can be effectively managed by use of eye drops and eye ointments that help in maintaining the lubrication of the eye. It can also be managed by using moist heat around the affected area that helps in relieving pain and inflammation. Regular facial exercise, facial massages help in faster recovery from the condition. Also, visiting the doctor regularly may prevent worsening of the condition.
Geeta Dutta, a patient from West Bengal got in touch with Dr Venugopal Subramaniam, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Manipal Hospitals Whitefield through the OPD clinic programme and then later was guided by him towards a craniotomy & brain tumour removal.
Manika Saha, a patient from West Bengal got in touch with Dr. Venugopal Subramaniam, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Manipal Hospitals Whitefield through the OPD clinic programme and then later was guided by him towards a brain tumour removal in Whitefield, Bengaluru which gave her vision back.
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