Bell’s Palsy is unexplained facial weakness or paralysis of the facial nerve on one side of the face. Symptoms include facial drooping, inability to close the eyelid and loss of control of the muscles that control facial expression on the affected side (smiling, squinting, blinking, raising the eyebrows). This can be a very scary situation for people. Although the exact cause of Bell’s Palsy in unknown, there may be some correlation with Diabetes, high blood pressure, trauma or recent infection (especially with Herpes simplex virus—related to the cause of the common cold sore). This is thought to cause swelling or inflammation around the nerve leading to symptoms of paralysis.
85% of people with Bell’s Palsy will begin to regain function within 3 weeks with or without treatment. The remaining 15% will have recovery within 3-6 months.
Treatment for Bell’s Palsy often includes steroids to reduce inflammation, antiviral medication and eye patching to protect the eye. Physical therapy may also be helpful to reduce pain, maintain soft tissue flexibility and muscle tone of the affected side and stimulation of the facial nerve. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with Bell’s Palsy, give us a call at Bodyworks, we may be able to help ease your symptoms or speed up your recovery!