By Ji Yoon Kim, Mitchell Mountain, Lydia Heter, and Kaitlyn Patterson
Bell’s Palsy is a disease that causes the facial muscles to become weak or paralyzed
It is not permanent
It is caused by trauma to the 7 th cranial nerve
Temporarily weakened or paralysis of one side of the face.
Causes trouble smiling or closing the eye
Pain on the affected side of the face
Headaches and loss of taste also occur
Bell’s Palsy also affects the amount of tears and saliva that your body produces
The nerve that controls your facial muscles runs through a small bone. When this nerve becomes swollen due to a virus it gets pinched in this small bone and cannot connect correctly to the brain causing paralysis.
Bell’s Palsy affects about .02% of the world or 1 in every 5000 people
It effects 40,000 Americans every year
It effects ages 15 to 45 most commonly
It also tends to effect those with weakened immune systems
Affects one side of the face by paralyzing nerves
Affects the body very quickly
People generally wake up to the full extent of Bell’s palsy or have symptoms leading up to him
Full paralysis may occur anytime from the first day symptoms appear to two weeks after
Bell’s Palsy is a temporary paralysis of the facial muscles
It can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to up to 8 months
Most people who have it make a full recovery
Ramsey Hunt’s disease is similar to Bell’s Palsy
Except in Ramsey Hunt’s disease, the virus has been identified
The virus is called the Varicella Zoster Virus
Protection of the eye during bedtime
75% of patients with Bell’s palsy improve without treatment.
Face massage can keep facial muscles from contracting.
In extremely rare cases of Bell’s palsy may recommended the surgery.
Steroid Medications – reduce inflammation
Antiviral Medications – acyclovir
Analgesics or moist heat – relieve pain
Physical therapy to stimulate facial nerve
Yes, there is a cure for Bell’s Palsy. It is most often a temporary condition where the 7 th facial nerves are put under pressure. Usually it will cure itself after a few weeks or a month at most. Facial massages help to keep the facial muscles in good tone. Acupuncture treatment will also help, but it depends on what has caused the paralysis.