Types of Diseases

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy is among the few types of diseases where the cause is still relatively unknown. There has been a lot of research and medical treatment developed for this problem but since it is still not clear on how it came about, several methods have been used try and contain the situation. Bell’s Palsy happens when the facial muscles suddenly weaken which will cause half of the face to droop. It looks as if the entire half of the face no longer response to control and everything become one-sided which is often misunderstood that it might be symptoms of stroke.

Prevalence
This disease can happen to anyone at any age. People who get Bell’s Palsy will usually panic thinking that they might be suffering a stroke as half of their face is not responding. When they lose control of one side of their body, they will start to panic. However, Bell’s Palsy is usually a temporary condition where it would heal between a few weeks and 6 months. This problem rarely recurs so it is not alarming.

Prevention
The most challenging issue about Bell’s Palsy is that as there is no known cause to it, there is actually no way of preventing it from happening. The person will suddenly feel the numbness on one side of the face and it will escalate very quickly. It is however usually found among people who gets the flu or cold frequently.

Diagnosis
Once the facial distortion is seen, then a medical checkup will be required to ascertain if it is Bell’s Palsy. Known methods include an EMG of electromyography, MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging and CT scans will be carried out. Steroids might be prescribed where prednisone is among the drug known to reduce swelling to treat Bell’s Palsy although most doctors will advice to have the condition heal by itself.

Specialists
Your standard home doctors would be the first level of check up if you feel paralyzed either on one or both sides of your face. Whether it is an early sign of a stroke or Bell’s Palsy, your family physician will be qualified to run early diagnostics. If it is confirmed that you have Bell’s Palsy, then you might be referred to an Otolaryngologist who typically will be a specialist surgeon in head and neck. Otolaryngologists are professionals who are trained in managing any disorders pertaining to the face. They will then be able to carry out further tests like hearing, balance or imaging CT where needed.

Symptoms
That which makes Bell’s Palsy a difficult disease to treat is that it’s symptoms can somewhat be similar to a stroke where the left side of your body could feel paralyzed to a certain extent. This type of paralysis will cause your face to droop and usually becomes a major reason for panic. Besides that, you might experience uncontrolled drooling and eye problems like excessive dryness and even tearing. Besides that, signs of Bell’s Palsy including losing the ability to taste, certain pain in behind the ears and numbness on one side of your face which would then require immediate medical attention.

Medication
Unlike the more serious condition of a stroke, Bell’s Palsy is a treatable disease and most patients will fully recover from this condition. There is however medications that are used to expedite the recovery process like Prednisolone. This drug is used to speed up the recover process by reducing swelling or inflammation in the affected areas. Meanwhile, those who experience problems with the eyes can use certain eye ointments because you will experience difficulty in shutting your eyes. Other forms of modern medication include physiotherapy which would be required to help you get back to your usual movements.

Home remedies
To help your recovery process from Bell’s Palsy, you can use some home remedies like massaging your affected areas with Olive Oil. This can be done regularly on the face which can help in preventing future damage to your facial areas. You can use hot compresses to do this as well by using a clean cloth and dipping it into hot water and then placing it over the face until the heat dissipates. Meanwhile, you can use Castor Oil to help with reducing the swelling and help the nerves that were damaged to heal faster.

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References
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bells-palsy/Pages/Treatment.aspx
http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/bells-palsy-topic-overview
http://www.ccent.com/otolaryngology-bells-palsy-specialist-fresno.htm