Bell’s palsy occurs when there is an inflammation or swelling in the nerve that controls the facial muscles of a person. There are no direct causes of Bell’s palsy but there are many factors that may lead to the inflammation or swelling of the nerve. Some of those factors include herpes simplex, HIV, lyme disease, neurosarcoidoisis, and some risks such as pregnancy, diabetes, lung infection or family history.
Before we get to the treatments, there are symptoms that should be known as well:
– When one side of the face is paralyzed
– There is a facial droop and one faces difficulty while making facial expressions including closing eyes or smiling
– Drooled face
– High sensitivity in one side of the face
– Unable to taste properly
– Changes in tear and saliva production
If you see any of these symptoms occurring, an immediate medical help is what you should seek to prevent the complete occurrence of Bell’s palsy.
Though most people who get Bell’s palsy recover even without any treatment but if you feel you are better off with medical help, then you must visit your doctor. There are essentially two medications that a doctor will put you on:
– Corticosteroids. These medicines help control the inflated nerve and remove swelling. These medicines are best when taken at the immediate sign of symptoms.
– Antiviral drugs. Antivirals do not treat the Bell’s palsy alone. This medicine is usually prescribed if one of the causes of Bell’s palsy is a virus or bacteria.
– OTC. Over the counter medications include ibuprofen or acetaminophen that can help in reducing the pain.
If you want to avoid medical expenses or feel that your Bell’s palsy condition can be cured at home with some home remedies or treatments, then here are some of the home treatments you can try:
– Massaging the face
– Relieving the pain buy placing warm damp towel on the affected side of the face
– Physical therapy exercises to help the facial muscles to stimulate. Physical therapist will make you massage the facial muscles such that it doesn’t occur again.
Recovery period for Bell’s palsy
Recovery time varies from patient to patient. It also depends on the causes of Bell’s palsy in that person and how severely the nerve has been damaged. The recovery time lies between two weeks to six months depending on the factors mentioned.