Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) causing an inability to control facial muscles on the affected side.
Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop. The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.
The cause of Bell's palsy is not clear. Viruses that have been linked to Bell's palsy include the virus that causes:
- Cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex)
- Mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr)
- Respiratory illnesses (adenovirus)
- Mumps (mumps virus)
- Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (coxsackievirus)
- Chickenpox and shingles (herpes zoster)
- Cytomegalovirus infections
- German measles (rubella)
- Flu (influenza B)
Bell's palsy occurs more often in people who:
- Are pregnant, especially during the third trimester, or who are in the first week after giving birth
- Have an upper respiratory infection, such as the flu or a cold
Also, some people who have recurrent attacks of Bell's palsy, which is rare, have a family history of recurrent attacks. In those cases, there may be a genetic predisposition to Bell's palsy.
Symptoms of Bell's palsy include:
- Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of your face that causes it to droop. This is the main symptom. It may make it hard for you to close your eye on that side of your face.
- Eye problems, such as excessive tearing or a dry eye.
- Loss of ability to taste.
- Pain in or behind your ear.
- Numbness in the affected side of your face.
- Increased sensitivity to sound.
Although a mild case of Bell's palsy normally disappears within a month, recovery from a case involving total paralysis varies. Complications may include:
- Irreversible damage to your facial nerve
- Misdirected regrowth of nerve fibers, resulting in involuntary contraction of certain muscles when you're trying to move others (synkinesis) - for example, when you smile, the eye on the affected side may close
- Partial or complete blindness of the eye that won't close, due to excessive dryness and scratching of the cornea, the clear protective covering of the eye
Homoeopathic treatment is targeted towards healing of nerve damage in case of traumatic cases of Bell's palsy. At bodhin, we offer specialized programs according to individual needs.
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