Bell’s palsy includes sudden weakness in your facial muscles. The weakness is temporary and significantly improves over weeks. The weakness makes half of your face appear to droop. Your smile is one-sided, and your eye on that side resists closing.
Bell’s palsy, also well-known as acute peripheral facial palsy of unknown cause, can occur at any age. The exact cause is unknown. It’s believed to be the result of swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of your face. Or it might be a result that occurs after a viral infection.
For the majority people, Bell’s palsy is short-term. Symptoms usually start to get better within a few weeks, with complete recovery in about six months. A small number of people continue to have some Bell’s palsy symptoms for life. Rarely, Bell’s palsy can recur.
- Weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face — occurring within hours to days
- Loss of facial expressions, such as closing your eye or smiling
- Pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side
- Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
- A loss of taste
- Changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce
Exact cause of Bell’s palsy is not clear, it’s often associated to having a viral infection.
Role of Physiotherapist
Paralyzed muscles can shrink and shorten, causing permanent contractures. A physical therapist can teach you how to massage yourself on face and exercise your facial muscles to help prevent this from occurring. And will help the paralyzed muscles to facilitate to bring it back to the normal.
Can we prevent Bell's Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy is a medical condition that can occur without a specific cause in most cases, and there is no guaranteed way to prevent it. However, you can take general measures to promote overall facial nerve health and reduce the risk of developing Bell’s Palsy or similar conditions:
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can help support your overall health, including the health of your facial nerves.
- Stress Management: Chronic stress may weaken your immune system and potentially contribute to the development of conditions like Bell’s Palsy. Practicing stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises can be beneficial.
- Good Hygiene: Practicing good hygiene, especially during cold and flu seasons, can help reduce the risk of infections that might trigger Bell’s Palsy. Frequent handwashing and avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick can be helpful.
- Avoiding Cold and Wind Exposure: Some people believe that exposure to cold and wind might trigger Bell’s Palsy, but this has not been scientifically proven. Nevertheless, protecting your face from extreme cold or wind with scarves or hats during harsh weather can be a good practice for overall facial health.
- Early Treatment of Infections: Viral infections, particularly those caused by the herpes simplex virus, have been associated with Bell’s Palsy. If you notice any symptoms of a viral infection, such as cold sores or genital herpes, seek prompt medical attention to reduce the risk of complications.
It’s important to note that Bell’s Palsy is generally considered idiopathic, meaning its exact cause is often unknown. While these steps may promote general health and reduce some risk factors, there is no guaranteed way to prevent Bell’s Palsy entirely. If you suspect you may have Bell’s Palsy or experience any concerning symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.