During the course of life, we come across many faces. On some occasions we see faces that have dropped, not necessarily because of heartache, on other occasions we see faces too fixed unable to move the facelift surgery isn’t to blame. In such some occasions, it can be Bell’s Palsy.
Bell’s palsy is the condition where the person loses control of their face muscles. It is a type of facial paralysis which either results in drooping of the skin or makes it stiff, either way making it difficult for a person to provide expressions. At least it doesn’t discriminate among genders and equally affects both men and women. For this once the name isn’t derived from Greek or Latin but just named after Charles Bell who explained the relation of facial nerve to it.
There are a few theories floating around about the possible causes, like resultant of viral infection, the herpes virus. Mostly what is known is that when there is any damage to the cranial nerve VII (responsible for control of facial muscles & also aids taste sensations) it results in Bell’s palsy. But how can this inflammation to the nerve occur is not anybody’s but the experts guess. More often this is considered as Stroke. However, they vary. A stroke will cause weakness or numbness in arms or legs as well, but Bell’s palsy only affects a side of the face, very rarely it may affect both sides. Other symptoms of Bell’s palsy include – loss of taste, dryness of the eye, constant tear formation, difficulty in blinking or closing eye, pain in the ear, drooling, pain in the jaw, headache.
When experiencing such symptoms, doctor consultation is essential, because similar symptoms are produced in stroke, tumors, meningitis, injury to head, Lyme disease as well. So to rule out if what one has Bell’s palsy or something else, one will need medical assistance. And in fact, this is how the diagnosis is done, by the method of elimination. There is no specific test designed to diagnose this condition, so the doctor will check for all other possible reasons when everything else is ruled out, they declare Bell’s palsy.
Coming down to treatment, well, first of all, I would like to inform you, that mostly anyone who suffers from it, recovers from it completely, even without treatment within a maximum duration of 6 months. Still, treatment makes recovery faster. The treatment includes steroids that help in reducing inflammation. Other medications like pain killers, antivirals, and eye care products are suggested. Also physiotherapy of the face, wherein they help you work the muscles of your face to regain the control.
Thankfully it’s an uncommon disease and repeat encounters of it for a person are rarer. Still, some people are more at risk of it, risk factors – Diabetes, Pregnant Females, and Migraine patients per a research.
It’ true often we take for granted the simple pleasures of life, till we are bereft from them. So I hope that a face is never bereft of a smile, as it’s like an ocean without water, unnatural, unimaginable. Smile today tomorrow and every day, it eases our face and our lives too.