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981 Facial-Palsy-is-not-Paralysis

Facial Palsy is not Paralysis!

Facial Palsy is not Paralysis!

Bell's palsy or a facial palsy which causes sudden weakness or paralysis on one half of the face is not associated with stroke, and most people recover from it completely. Although, it is still advisable to seek emergency care to confirm a diagnosis and start treatment, which can up the odds of full recovery.

The disorder is often related to a viral infection. The nerve that controls facial muscles passes through a narrow corridor of bone on its way to the face. If the nerve becomes inflamed or swollen, typically due to a viral infection, it can become compressed, irritated and injured in this narrow pathway. The result is Bell's palsy.

 Associated Causes

  • Herpes infection
  • Other viral infections like Infectious mononucleosis, Cytomegalovirus
  • Respiratory infections
  • Flu
  • Trauma

Symptoms include

• Abrupt weakness or limpness on one side of the face (Most people don't experience total paralysis.)
• A dry, irritated eye with tears dripping from the corner
• Pain around the ear or jaw, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to noise
• Headache
• Loss of taste or a decrease in saliva production

Treatment

Bell's palsy can affect anyone, at any age. Treatment increases the likelihood of full recovery and may help shorten the recovery time.  

Common treatment offered

  • Oral corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation around the facial nerve
  • Antiviral medicines
  • Moist Heat to reduce inflammation
  • Electric stimulation
  • Physiotherapy

For most people, symptoms begin to improve within a few weeks. Complete recovery may take three to six months or even longer in severe cases. About 85 percent of those with Bell's palsy recover completely.

Complications

  • Abnormal regrowth of the nerve
  • Abnormal facial movements
  • Blindness

It is important to remember that people with diabetes and pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing facial palsy. Please consult your doctor if you notice any symptoms.

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