What can I do for bells palsy?

Bell's palsy is a disorder in which the victim loses control over the facial muscles on one side of the face, caused by paralyzed facial nerves. A facial paralysis could be caused by various disorders like a stroke, a brain tumour, and Lyme disease, but in the absence of any such specific cause the condition the patient suffers from is termed as Bell's Palsy. Diseases that affect only one nerve come under the category of acute mononeuropathy and Bell's Palsy is the most common such disease. Acute facial nerve paralysis is also most commonly caused by the disease. Whether partial or complete palsy, the condition generally sets in within a single day, which basically means that you could wake up completely normal in the morning and go to bed with your facial muscles paralyzed.

Any form of paralysis or loss of control over a body part or muscles in a specific region can be terrifying and this is no different. Bell's Palsy is however not horribly serious as almost all patients recover completely with or without any form of treatment. Your doctor could however prescribe certain medications or recommend physical therapy to encourage and speed up your recovery.

Corticosteroids and antiviral medications are commonly used in the treatment, but with mixed results. Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory agents, and if their use reduces the swelling in the affected facial nerve, the nerve would be able to fit comfortably within the surrounding bony corridor. In case the condition has been caused by a virus, then the progress and advancement of the condition can be halted or reversed through treatment with an antiviral drug.

There is a possibility for paralyzed muscles to shrink and shorten, resulting in permanent contractures. Massaging and exercising the facial muscles can be effective prevent measure. Moist heat can also relieve the pain.

answered by M W

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