Pathology is a facial paralysis of part of the face, although in most cases refers to a short period of time (from several weeks to six months), in others it may be permanent. Bell’s palsy affects the function of one of the two facial nerves (located behind the ear), a disability that may affect the quality of sufferer life, since it conditions some volunteers everyday gestures, from smile, closing and opening the eyes or taste a food.
What are the symptoms? Does the age is a risk factor or may appear at any age? Bell’s palsy (facial palsy) affects the facial nerves, whose function is to control the muscles of the two sides of the face, muscles involved in gestures such as blinking, frowning or smiling.
But it has a more important role because the facial nerve is also responsible for transmitting nerve impulses to the salivary and lacrimal glands. When Bell’s palsy appears (inflammation or swelling and subsequent nerve compression) this function (sensory and motor) is interrupted. The cause of this problem is still unknown, although specialists aim, among others, a result of a viral infection (meningitis) or the presence of herpes simplex. Bell’s palsy can occur at any age.
Bell’s palsy: Symptoms
The facial nerve damage can trigger the onset of paralysis of one or both sides of the face, weakness in the affected area or the occurrence of tics. Other symptoms, which vary in function of the patient and the severity of the paralysis, maybe the dryness of the eyes or mouth, drooping eyelid (risk of conjunctivitis), constant tearing or loss of taste sense, headache, dizziness, difficulty to eat or drink, ringing in the ears. The symptoms of Bell’s palsy usually appear suddenly, without warning, complicating prevention.
Diagnosis and treatment
Treatment of Bell’s palsy focuses primarily on eliminating the damage to the nerve, for what is often prescribed antiviral or antibacterial drugs (in some cases are given steroids to reduce nerve inflammation process). The treatment, if prescribed by the doctor, can be completed on vitamin B to strengthen nerve recovery.
In this cases, some studies point to acupuncture as an ally in the treatment and recovery to help the mobility of the facial muscles.
Diagnosis requires a medical examination primarily based on assessing the degree of voluntary mobility of the face muscles. Delaying the diagnosis, stress can reduce the chances of recovery, with patients in these cases patients to undergo surgical treatment.