Bells Palsy Physiotherapy Treatment
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What is Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop. The nerve may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.
Bell’s palsy is not the result of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). While stroke and TIA can cause facial paralysis, there is no link between Bell’s palsy and either of these conditions. But sudden weakness that occurs on one side of your face should be checked by a doctor right away to rule out these more serious causes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bell’s Palsy?
The facial nerves control blinking, opening and closing of the eyes, smiling, salivation, lacrimation (production of tears), and frowning. They also supply the stapes muscles with nerves. The stapes is a bone in the ear which is involved in our ability to hear. When the facial muscle malfunctions, the following symptoms may emerge – symptoms of Bell’s palsy:
- Sudden paralysis/weakness on one side of the face.
- It may be difficult or impossible to close one of the eyelids.
- Irritation in the eye because it does not blink and becomes too dry. Changes in the number of tears the eye produces.
- Parts of the face may drop, such as one side of the mouth.
- Drooling from one side of the mouth. The amount of saliva produced changes.
- The difficulty with facial expressions.
- The sense of taste may become altered.
- An affected ear may lead to sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis). Sounds seem louder.
- Pain in front or behind the ear on the affected side.
- A headache.
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How is it treated?
Most people who have Bell’s palsy recover completely, without treatment, in 1 to 2 months. This is especially true for people who can still partly move their facial muscles. But a small number of people may have permanent muscle weakness or other problems on the affected side of the face.
You may need to take a corticosteroid. This medicine can lower your risk for long-term problems from Bell’s palsy. Your doctor may also have you take antiviral medicine, such as acyclovir. Antiviral medicines used alone don’t help with Bell’s palsy.