Bell’s Palsy Causes And Remedies
There are about 40,000 cases of Bell’s palsy reported annually in the United States. Bell’s palsy usually affects just one side of the face. If the nerve that controls muscles of the face is inflamed or damaged, one side of the face may droop, it may be difficult to blink or close the eye, and the person may be temporarily unable to move one side of the mouth. Drooling, tearing of the affected eye, and twitching are other symptoms. Some people may also experience ringing in the ear, pain around the jaw, loss of taste, headache, problems drinking or eating, or impaired speech or dizziness. In effect, the person experiences facial nerve paralysis. Bell’s palsy can be caused by trauma, but most often it is caused by a virus that affects the facial nerve. The nerve becomes inflamed causing typical Bell’s palsy neuritis symptoms. The inflamed nerve is unable to carry messages from the brain to the facial muscles, resulting in temporary paralysis. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important for you to seek medical attention. Other more serious conditions like a stroke or pinched nerve can cause partial paralysis and neuropathy pain. People who have compromised immune systems, who are diabetic or pregnant, or who have the flu or a cold are at higher risk than the general population. Those with high blood pressure, sarcoidosis, Lyme disease or tumors are also more likely to develop this condition.
Once symptoms appear, they are likely to worsen for the first 48 hours. Three out of four people recover without any treatment at all. Whether or not they receive treatment, the majority of people start to get better in about two weeks. Almost all patients are fully recovered in three to six months.
Bell’s palsy should not be confused with Erb’s palsy which affects infants and toddlers and results in limited movement in one arm or the other. In this case, a nerve in the shoulder area is pinched, possibly because of trauma during the birth process.