Facial paralysis syndromes :
Bell’s palsy is also known as idiopathic facial paralysis or IFP. It is a condition involving unilateral paralysis of facial muscles and it is actually due to facial nerve paralysis. Unilateral paralysis means that this type of facial paralysis or muscle weakness is on one side of the face. It results from dysfunction of the seventh cranial nerve of the face.
This facial nerve controls the muscles of facial expression for example eye blinking and closing. Mostly only one nerve or one side of the face is affect by Bells palsy Spanish. It causes inflammation. Bell’s palsy is actually the most common cause of unilateral paralysis of the face accounting for approximately 60 to 75 percent of cases. So, the median age of onset of this condition is 40.
What nerve is damaged in Bell's palsy?
The cranial nerve number seven or the facial nerve causes Bell palsy of the eye . So it’s going to oftentimes affect one particular area mostly the main area. That is known as the geniculate ganglion. The facial nerve branches control the movement of the facial muscles and also other functions.
In the geniculate ganglion, most of the issues occur during the bell's palsy and control facial expression. They also branch off to the lacrimal glands for tear production, the anterior two-thirds of the tongue to allow for a taste sensation, and salivary glands to allow for salivation.
Facial paralysis symptoms :
Symptoms develop suddenly within days. And it causes mild weakness to total paralysis of facial muscles and their other symptoms are:
- Inability to close one eye
- Drooping of mouth
- Distorted sense of taste
- Intolerance to loud noise
- Abnormal sensation
- Facial pain
- It affects one side of the face but in some patients, Bell’s palsy occurs on both sides of the face. However, this is going to be a rare occurrence.
- Tingling sensations on the face
- Ocular pain
- Blurred vision patients have diplopia or double vision
- Decreased salivation
- Mastoid pain is behind the ears
What causes bell’s palsy:
Main causes of bell’s palsy has no known cause so it is idiopathic. But it can be trigger by some factors such as:
- Reactivation of dormant viruses particularly herpes simplex virus 1 or hSV1 causes cold sores. Another potential virus is herpes zoster virus or HZV which causes chickenpox. Some other potential viral infections that may cause bell's palsy include Epstein-Barr virus, infections cytomegalovirus infections, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.
- The autoimmune condition also increases the risk
- Certain vaccinations may increase the likelihood of Bell’s palsy
- Some infections may also lead to Bell’s palsy for example Lyme disease. Arthritis
- Bacterial infections also associate with the onset of bells for example bacteria Mycoplasma and Syphilis
- It also triggered by stress or trauma
Risk factors for Bell’s palsy:
Risk factors and potential triggers for Bell’s palsy are:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Older age
- Pregnancy in the third trimester
- Family history
- Exposure to cold wind especially one side of the face
Diagnosis of Bell ’s palsy:
Unilateral facial paralysis is going to be acute. Oftentimes patients may wake up with facial paralysis and they can be quite startled by the facial paralysis that is so sudden.It leads to facial muscle weakness on the affected side and will include the upper and lower portions of the face. So some test are use to diagnose this paralysis:
- Diagnosis is mostly base on clinical presentation. Paralysis on the face usually occurs with the sudden development of symptoms. It is reaching on a peak from mild to severe around 72 hours from the onset.
- Another method is an electromyography test. That determines the nerve damage
- Imaging studies also be done
- Stapedial reflex test
- Schirmer's test
- An electroneurography test may also be use to assess the affected side of the face
In most cases both upper and lower facial muscles, eyelid, mouth, and forehead weakness can be observed. If forehead muscle strength is not affect then stroke occurs. The reason behind this is that the upper facial muscles receive nerve impulses from both hemispheres of the brain. That’s why a lesion on one side of the face will not affect their function.
How to treat bell’s palsy at home :
Bell’s palsy treats about 2 thirds of patients on their own without treatment so facial paralysis temporary. It actually gradually resolves in 80 to 90 percent of cases. So, the majority of cases are going to have a resolution of Bell’s palsy between six weeks and three months and the resolution often begins within three weeks. In severe cases treatment for bell’s palsy include :
- Corticosteroids are used to reduce the inflammation
- Antiviral medications for example acyclovir are use
- Physical therapy
- Facial massage
- Decompression surgery is rarely needed to relieve pressure
- Eye treatments can be important for instance in patients who have reduced tear production
- In Bell’s palsy, the eyelid's ability to close and blink is affected so eye moisturizer or lubricating eye drops are use to prevent the eye from drying and potential injury.
- Some of the surgeries that can be employ include facial nerve decompression and facial nerve grafting eyelid surgery.