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Bell's Paralysis

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 include

  • twitching,
  • weakness
  • paralysis
  • 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[5] and Epstein-Barr viruses, both of the herpes family. Reactivation of an existing (dormant) viral infection has been suggested[6] as cause behind the acute Bell's palsy. Studies[7] 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.[10] Steroids have been shown to be effective at improving recovery while antivirals have not

 
 
 
 
 
   

This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

05/27/2011

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