Bell's Paralysis is another name for Bell's palsy. Bell's Paralysis is a form
of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to one of the two
facial nerves. It is the most common cause of facial paralysis. Generally,
Bell's palsy affects only one of the paired facial nerves and one side of the
face, however, in rare cases, it can affect both sides. Symptoms of Bell's palsy
usually begin suddenly and reach their peak within 48 hours.
Symptoms of bell's paralysis
Symptoms range in severity from mild weakness to total paralysis and may
- drooping eyelid or corner of the mouth
- drooling, dry eye or mouth, impairment of taste
- excessive tearing in the eye.
Bell’s palsy often causes significant facial distortion. Most scientists
believe that a viral infection such as viral meningitis or the common cold sore
virus -- herpes simplex-- causes the disorder when the facial nerve swells and
becomes inflamed in reaction to the infection.
Causes of bell's paralysis
Some viruses are thought to establish a persistent (or latent) infection
without symptoms, e.g. the Zoster virus of the face and Epstein-Barr viruses,
both of the herpes family. Reactivation of an existing (dormant) viral infection
has been suggested as cause behind the acute Bell's palsy. Studies suggest
that this new activation could be preceded by trauma, environmental factors, and
metabolic or emotional disorders, thus suggesting that stress - emotional
stress, environmental stress (e.g. cold), physical stress (e.g. trauma) - in
short, a host of different conditions, may trigger reactivation.
Treatment of bell's paralysis
In patients presenting with incomplete facial palsy, where the prognosis for
recovery is very good, treatment may be unnecessary. Patients presenting with
complete paralysis, marked by an inability to close the eyes and mouth on the
involved side, are usually treated, some of them with smile surgery. Early
treatment (within 3 days after the onset) is necessary for therapy to be
effective. Steroids have been shown to be effective at improving recovery
while antivirals have not