What is Bell’s palsy?
Bell’s palsy, also known as acute peripheral facial palsy, causes sudden and often temporary weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles. It is named after a Scottish anatomist Charles Bell, who first time described this condition. Bell’s palsy usually affects one side of the face, causing it to drop or become stiffed. It is caused due to any trauma, inflammation, compression or due any viral infection in the 7th cranial nerve, known as facial nerve. Facial nerve is responsible for carrying motor and sensory responses of the face.
Bell’s palsy causes difficulty in smiling or closing the eye lids of the affected side. Bell’s palsy can happen at any age, though It mostly affects people between the ages of 16 and 60. Symptoms often get resolved within a few weeks, making full recovery in about 6 months. However, some people may continue to have some symptoms of Bell’s palsy throughout their lives.
Bell’s palsy happens due to any trauma, compression or inflammation in the 7th cranial nerve. The exact cause for this is unknown, but it is often observed in people who have diabetes or are recovering from any viral infection.
The viruses and bacterias that may cause Bell’s palsy include-
- Herpes simplex virus, which are responsible for cold sores and genital herpes
- HIV, that may compromise the immunity
- Chickenpox and shingles, caused by herpes zoster virus
- Sarcoidosis, which can cause organ inflammation
- Epstein Barr virus, that causes mononucleosis
- Cytomegalovirus infections
- Adenovirus, that causes respiratory infections
- Lyme disease, which is bacterial disease, caused by infected ticks
- Rubella virus, that causes German measles
- Mumps virus
- Influenza B virus
- Coxsackievirus, which causes hand, foot and mouth disease
Sign & Symptoms
Bell’s palsy can develop one to two weeks after a person has cold, ear or eye infection. The sign and symptoms of Bell’s palsy appear suddenly and usually affect one side of the face, though in rare conditions, it may affect both sides.
Sign and symptoms of Bell’s palsy may include-
- Sudden and rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis of one side of the face
- Drooping of face, with difficulty in closing of eyes or smiling
- Pain around the jaw and behind the ear of the affected side
- Increased sensitiveness to sound on the affected side
- Twitching of muscles on the face
- Dryness in eyes and mouth
- Loss of taste
- Irritation in the eye of the affected side
- Changes on the amount of saliva and tears that are normally produced
Bell’s palsy is most likely to happen in people who are-
- Pregnant, especially the women who are in their third trimester or first week after delivery
- Having any upper respiratory infections
- Have diabetes
- Having genetic predisposition, though it is rare.
Bell’s palsy usually disappears within a few weeks. In the case of severe total paralysis, sometimes there may develop some complications like-
- Permanent damage of the facial nerve
- Abnormal growth of nerve fibres, that may cause involuntary contractions of certain muscles
- Blindness, caused due to incomplete closure of the affected eye, resulting into dryness and scratching of the cornea.
To make the diagnosis for Bell’s palsy, doctor will carefully examine the face and ask the patient to perform certain movements like lifting the eyes, frowning, smiling, pulling up the brows etc. To rule out the possibility of other diseases that cause facial weakness and mimic Bell’s palsy, doctor may suggest some tests like electromyography and imaging tests like X-rays and CT scan.
Homeopathic Treatment for Bell’s Palsy
Homeopathic treatment is very effective and certain, in ensuring the speedy recovery in the case of Bell’s palsy. Homeopathic medicines work on the underlying cause of weakness of the muscles and provide complete cure in this medical condition.
Homeopathy effectively reduces the inflammation in the nerves, and help in strengthening the facial muscles in minimum time. AVI homeopathy is the best clinic in Jaipur, that provides complete cure and speedy recovery in the cases of Bell’s palsy.