Bell’s Palsy - CMC

Bell’s Palsy is a neurological condition that often affects the facial nerve, causing weakness or paralysis down one side of the face. This condition is usually temporary, and a majority of people fully recover after several weeks or months.  An individual may develop Bell’s palsy after a viral infection which causes the facial nerve to swell.

Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy

  • Drooping mouth
  • Drooling
  • Watery eyes
  • Altered taste
  • Intolerance to loud noise
  • Difficulty smiling
  • Paralysis on one side of the face
  • Inability to close your eye on the affected side

Causes of Bell’s Palsy

The following are viruses that can cause Bell’s palsy:

  • Varicella-zoster (chicken pox virus)
  • Influenza
  • Herpes simplex

There are also other factors that are known to cause Bell’s palsy. They include:

  • Autoimmune syndromes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Genetic factors
  • Certain cancers
  • Lack of good sleep
  • Facial fractures
  • Impaired immunity

During your visit to the Bell’s Palsy clinic at CMC Dubai, a neurologist will examine you and prescribe a treatment. To speed up your recovery, this may include medication and physical therapy.

Diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy only affects one side of the face, unlike stroke that typically results in paralysis down one side of the body and face.

Doctors haven’t yet found a specific laboratory test to diagnose Bell’s palsy. Based on your current symptoms, your neurologist will make a diagnosis and do an examination to check for upper and lower facial paralysis.

Sometimes it can be helpful to confirm a diagnosis of Bell’s palsy by doing a scan and taking a picture of the affected area. This can rule out other diseases that can cause facial weakness, including a stroke.

To determine whether there is any nerve injury, your neurologist could recommend that you undergo an electromyography (EMG) test.

A CT scan or MRI may be recommended to rule out other causes of your symptoms.

Treatment of Bell’s Palsy

Depending on the severity of your Bell’s palsy, you may receive therapy including:

  • Prednisolone pills to lessen swelling close to the facial nerve
  • Antiviral pills that help treat the viral infection, such as acyclovir (acyclovir) or valaciclovir
  • Pain medication such as paracetamol
  • To protect the eye, use lubrication eye drops, ointments, and patches
  • Physical treatment
  • Alternative medical procedures like acupuncture
  • Distraction surgery (though this is rare)
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