Bell’s palsy is essentially the term used to describe facial paralysis that is not caused by anything else such as a tumor or trauma. The most recent research suggests that Bell’s palsy is caused by the reactivation of a virus (herpes simplex virus) in the temporal bone behind the ear. The activation of the virus causes the nerve to shut down. The onset of Bell’s palsy is sudden and generally causes facial paralysis immediately.
• Sudden paralysis of one side of the face
• Inability to smile evenly, close an eye or purse lips
• Can experience severe facial pain
• No specific cause
It is crucial that any person who experiences the sudden onset of facial paralysis go to the emergency room right away. The only way to determine if it is in fact Bell’s palsy is to rule out other serious conditions like Lyme disease, tumors, or aneurism through testing and a thorough evaluation. If Bell’s palsy is suspected, be sure to visit a facial nerve expert quickly.
When you are diagnosed with Bell’s palsy you will need to begin a course of anti-viral medication right away, as well as a high dose of a steroid such as prednisone. Patients should then visit a facial paralysis and facial nerve.
Approximately 85% of patients with Bell’s palsy will completely recover, while the remaining percentage of Bell’s palsy patients will have at least some permanent facial paralysis and/or synkinesis.
For any information, assessment and treatment please contact Petrina Spencer-Walker on tel: 0725 010511