Facial Nerve Paralysis

Man Bell's Palsy

Facial Nerve Paralysis On Adults (Bell’s Palsy)

This is described as weakness of one side of the face which affects the nerve supplying the facial muscles. Bell’s palsy affecting 80% of sufferers is the most common type of weakness. This is a condition in which the facial nerve gets inflamed and may occur in people who are otherwise healthy.

CAUSES
  • Sometimes there may be no cause and it may occur suddenly within a few hours or overnight with the symptoms becoming worse over 2-3 days.
  • Secondary to an infection like middle ear infection and herpes simplex virus
  • Exposure to extreme climates
  • Stroke
  • Tumor that presses on the facial nerve
  • Lack of the blood supply to the nerve
SYMPTOMS
  • Sagging of eyebrows
  • Loss of wrinkles while performing different facial expressions
  • Unable to sniff with one side of nostril
  • Unable to purse lips or whistle
  • Difficulty closing the eye completely which may lead to watering or dryness of the eye.
  • Difficult to maintain symmetry while smiling as there is deviation of mouth to normal side.
  • Unable to close mouth completely which causes drooling of saliva.
  • Varied sensation over the tongue.
TREATMENT

Usually for most with Bell’s palsy, it resolves on its own within 3-6 months. However, a small number of people may suffer from permanent facial weakness on the affected side of the face. This can be frustrating and can lead to long term loss of taste, dropped eyelids, etc.

Your doctor may prescribe some medication to reduce the nerve inflammation.

PHYSIOTHERAPY
  • Motor Point Electrical Stimulation is the most effective way to treat this as it aids the muscle re-education and reduces the recovery time to 3-6 weeks
  • Facial Exercises are taught by your therapist to make the facial muscles stronger, accelerates the recovery process
  • Special Facial Massage is done to relax the tense muscles that is otherwise overworking

Please seek help IMMEDIATELY if you do suffer from these symptoms.