Sometimes, even if we consider ourselves healthy and well, we might have certain surprises. Sudden diseases can develop as fast as you can pronounce the word disease, no matter your age or your medical history. One of such diseases seems to be Bell’s palsy. In the following rows of this article, we will talk a bit about this illness. You may have heard about it, because in the previous year a Hollywood star had it and talk about it, namely Angelina Jolie. You will be able to learn which the causes of its appearance are, the treatment, the symptoms for this disease and other things that may interest you. Should you be scared by this illness? Can it happen to you? The answer to all these questions will be revealed below if you have the patience to read it till the end.
What is this disease?
This disease is affecting your facial nerves. It will be easy to notice, because it causes the paralysis of one side of your face. Sometimes, that face’ side is not completely paralyzed. The muscles, however, will be weakened. You will not be able to control them. Some people may confuse this symptom with a stroke. When it comes about a stroke things are a bit more complicated, because not only your face will be affected but also other parts of your body. As long you notice this problem only at your face level, you should not worry too much.
You may wonder if this can happen to you. Basically, it can happen to anyone, no matter their age or their health status. However, if you had some viral infections and you are in the recovery period, or if you suffer of some chronic disease such as diabetes, your chances to experience this affection are increased.
What causes Bell’s palsy appearance?
It is not certain, but after many studies were made, the doctors concluded that the position of this nerve has many things to do with the inability of controlling your facial muscles. If this nerve swells, due to the fact that it passes through a bony zone within the skull that is quite narrow, the nerve cannot function properly. This swelling phenomenon can appear when you may suffer of some viral affection. This is the reason why these people are more exposed to this affection than others.
The main symptoms of Bell’s palsy disease ?
As it was already mentioned, it is not difficult at all to discover them. It will not take too long either, considering the fact that this affection can make its presence felt over night. How can you not notice that half of your face is practically dropped? You will look more than weird. Can you expect this to happen in any similar situation as the ones already mentioned? Some people do but not everyone. In some cases, you may experience some pains inside your ears but also a feeling of weakness. Considering that you may recover from a viral infection, these symptoms may not make you think that Bell’s palsy will happen to you over night. Some patients noticed that their hearing was much more sensitive before this affection appeared.
However, other symptoms may raise more questions marks in your head and may make you think that it is something wrong with your facial nerve. If you feel that on one side of your face that you experience some difficulties of chewing, or you are not able to feel the food’ taste and you also feel an increased pain inside your ear, on the same side of your face, and you are in a recovery period after suffering an infection, then you might alarm yourself that something worse will come sooner than you expect.
What about Bell’s Palsy treatment and diagnosis
It may not be a surprise that even doctors cannot predict such disease appearance. They might consider giving you such diagnosis only after they eliminate all the other diseases that may have the same symptoms as the ones described above. This means that you cannot prevent this illness. The only thing you can do is treat it. The next question might be how to do it.
Usually doctors associate this disease with the herpes virus or with herpes zoster virus. There is antiviral medication that can help you ease the pains and help you heal faster, such as acyclovir or other medicines that are usually prescribed to defeat the herpes viruses. Beside the antiviral medicines also the corticosteroids can help you decrease the facial nerve’ swelling. They will also give you certain advices that will help you protect that side of your face were your muscles cannot be controlled.
Also, the facial massages can be of a real help in this situation. In rare situations, when none of these things seems to give the proper results, they might suggest a surgical intervention. But this happens in rare situations as it was already suggested.
As you can see this is a disease that may come when you at least expect it. It does not matter the age of the patient and even if your medical history may be a very good one, this does not mean that you are spared of such disturbing and painful health disorder. It will be better if you go visit your doctor before your face drops and you will certainly experience enough symptoms with a few days before this happens. Usually after the symptoms emerge your face’ muscles will lose their strength in two or three days.
It is not something that cannot be healed but it will be quite unpleasant and quite painful. You must follow the doctors’ recommendations by the book so you will recover and turn back to your daily routine.