Home Disorders Brain Disorders Bell's Palsy

What is Bell's Palsy?


Bell's palsy is the one type of paralysis of facial nerves. This is normally self limiting. This type of mental disease is discovered by Scottish anatomist Charles Bell that's' why this paralysis of face is known as Bell's palsy. It is also called as facial palsy. It is temporary type of paralysis. Bell's palsy is consist of major facial bend. Bell's palsy is affect on only face muscle. It is mainly affect on one side of face during sick with cold or flu.

Bell's palsy named after famous Scottish anatomist Dr. Charles Bell, is a type of facial paralysis occuring due to dysfunctioning cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve). The result of this dysfuntioning is that ability to control facial muscles are gone on the affected side. There are many diseases or conditions which can cause facial paralysis or bell's palsy, like, brain tumor, stroke, and Lyme disease.

If there is no underlying cause which can be identified, it can simple be called Bell's palsy. It is the most common mononeuropathy and is said to be the most common reason behind acute facial nerve paralysis.

What are the causes of Bell's palsy?

  • Disorder with influenza is cause of Bell's palsy.
  • Bell's palsy is also caused by cold and flu.
  • Skull fracture and face injury are also causes of Bell's palsy.
  • Bell's palsy is caused by compressed and swollen muscles.
  • High blood pressure is also reason of Bell's palsy.
  • Diabetes can reason of Bell's palsy.
  • Brain tumor is also cause of Bell's palsy disease.

Epidemiology or Statistics for Bell's Palsy

According to CDC and other collected data, the annual incidence of Bell's palsy is close to 20 per 100,000 of population. The chances of getting the disease increases with age and at the current pupulation, it is occuring in about 40,000 people in US alone every year. The Family inheritance of the disease is in about 4–14% of cases.Bell's Palsy is 3 times more likely to occur in pregnant women and 4 times more likely to occur in diabetes patients.Since bell’s palsy cannot be reported, there is no registry to get some conclusive diagnostic data.

Symptoms of Bell's palsy

  • Gentle weakness
  • Difficulty in closing eye
  • Ringing of ears
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Lyme disease
  • Drooping of mouth and eyelid
  • Headache
  • Dryness in eyes
  • Loss of taste
  • Sensitivity of sound

Diagnosis of Bell's palsy

The diagnosis of Bell's palsy is done by using Exclusion technique, i.e. by eliminating other possibilities. Hence there could not be any justified cause for Bell's Palsy. It is commonly referred as idiopathic or cryptogenic.

  • Clinical presentation involving a distorted facial look is good for diagnosis of Bell's palsy.
  • Physical examinations are also way of diagnosis of Bell's palsy.
  • EMG test that is Electromyography test can verify the occurrence of nerve damage.
  • MRI scan and CT scan are also modern technique for diagnosis of Bell's palsy disease.

Treatment for Bell's palsy

In Bell's palsy, prescription of Doctor is very important.

  • Viral infection of Bell's palsy is reduced by Acyclovir medicine.
  • Prednisone is used to decreased irritation and swelling of face in Bell's palsy.
  • Decompressing surgery can used for curing Bell's palsy.
  • Antiviral drugs are used in treatment of Bell's palsy.
  • Massage of different type of oil is also helpful for reducing effect of Bell's palsy.
  • Painkiller is also used for action on this type of paralysis.

Some more treatment options for Bell's Palsy

There are certain medicines and therapies which needs to be seen if you have this condition:

  1. Prednisolone - steroid based medicine to reduce inflammation
  2. Mime therapy - Type of physical therapy
  3. Plastic surgery - Improves the face look and feel
  4. Botox - Bell's palsy can be relieved from symptoms by the injection of Botox.

Substitute for medicine of Bell's palsy

  • Relaxation techniques is very good option for treatment of Bell’s palsy.
  • Acupuncture is the technique of curing facial palsy.
  • You can eat soft foods such as yogurt which is very useful.
  • Taking mouth care and eye care are very important in treatment of facial palsy.
  • Vitamin therapy is involves some special vitamins zinc, B-12 and B-6 which are used in treatment of Bell’s palsy.