Bell’s palsy is a condition which the face muscle is weak, paralyzed. We never found bell’s palsy affects both face, it always affects only one side of face, left sided bell’s palsy or right sided bell’s palsy. The face muscle is drop, stiff at that right or left side
Bell’s palsy is a kind of trauma of seventh cranial nerve or face nerve. Right sided or left sided bell’s palsy can happen to anyone, yes, we can get it. But, people with diabetes or viral infection tend to have this bell’s palsy higher than those who don’t have it. Bell’s palsy sometime is only temporary. Bell’s palsy is different from stroke, while Bell’s palsy only affects face muscle, but stroke causes muscle weakness in your body.
Bell’s Palsy Causes
A damage or trauma to facial nerve could be a main cause of bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is occurred because of swelling of affected face nerve. Normally, facial nerve passes through a narrow bone within the skull, if the face muscle swells, it will pushes against the skull’s hard surface. This condition makes the face nerve does not work well.
Some kind of viruses, herpes simplex 1 virus, may responsible for a large number of bell’s palsy cases. Because of that, researchers believe that virus infection play role in development of Bell’s palsy.
Right Sided Bell’s Palsy vs Left Sided Bell’s Palsy
There are two facial nerve that passes from the brain. The right facial nerve control the right side of face muscle, and left facial nerve control the left side of face muscle as well. So, the different between right sided bell’s palsy and left sided bell’s palsy is just in affected facial nerve.
Sign and Symptoms
The symptoms of bell’s palsy occurs suddenly, you may have no sign and symptoms at night before bed, and you found your part of face is drooping in the morning, right sided or left sided. Bell’s palsy is so unpredictable.
Some people may have pain behind their ear about 1-2 days before the facial muscle weakness occurred. They also hear sound like tinnitus before other symptoms.
For right or left sided bell’s palsy, the sign and symptoms are like:
- You cannot close your eyelid or blink
- The tear is more or less than usual
- Difficulty chewing during meal
- Decreased sense of taste
- Your facial muscle twitch
- Pain or numbness behind the ear.
Bell’s palsy for some people reach the peak within a day or two day after the first symptoms. But most people feels better within a couple of weeks. They usually recover completely within 3 months after treatments. Some of them are also develop permanent symptoms in rare case.
Bell’s phenomenon is a specific bell’s palsy sign and symptom. It is partial eyelid close paralyzed face with excessive tears. Your doctor assess it by doing to close your eyelid on the affected side of your face, right or left sided. If the eyelid does not close well, that is called bell’s phenomenon. Your eye might be just rolls upward or outward when you try to close it. The eye also looked like watery eye because the eye try to moisturize it.
Recently, there is no test that can tell you 100% bell’s palsy diagnosis. Doctors usually start to make sure of your condition by doing a complete and careful physical exam. If they suspect you have it, then they will ask you to do some assessment to know bell’s phenomenon.
The doctor will then try to assess other conditions. They will test your hearing and sense of balance. Other tests are also performed such as skull X-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Electrical testing (electromyography) can help clarify the diagnosis. It also can them predict how fast and fully you will recover.
What Are the Treatments for Bell’s Palsy?
If bell’s palsy affected your facial muscle, then there are no treatment that can stop it nowadays. Knowing the right cause of bell’s palsy is helping. For example, if it is triggered by the virus (herpes simplex 1 or herpes zoster), the doctors will prescribed you antivirus medication like acyclovir. Remember that there is no research to show these antivirus medication work to reduce bell’s palsy symptoms.
The facial nerve in bell’s palsy is in swelling, then doctors may give you an anti-inflammation medication like prednisone. The purpose of this medication is to reduce the swelling of your facial nerve. This can shorten the duration of bell’s palsy symptoms.
Right sided or left sided bell’s palsy patient is unable to close their eyelid, then the doctor will suggest you to do eye care. They may suggest your wear an eye patch or eye drops, to prevent the dryness of your eye.
Finally, you need to keep your face muscle elasticity and to reduce muscle stiffness, they suggest you to massage your facial muscles. In very rare case, doctors may suggest you for surgery to reduce the pressure on your facial nerve. Please read Treatment of Bells Palsy, Choose The Right One! for detail treatments.