Our health handles the perception of our personality by other people. Today, many diseases disrupt the balance between our routine and well-being. But many of them can have legitimate causes and consequences. At the same time, there are also those types of diseases that appear for unknown reasons. One such disease is Bell’s palsy.
Facial muscle weakness of the front side characterizes this disease. During the disease, a person cannot control part of their face, which looks saggy. To date, it is not known what specifically causes the main reason of facial paralysis. But some methods and practices can help ease a person’s condition.
In our article, we will tell you about the following:
- Primary symptoms.
- What is the cause of Bell’s palsy?
- Risk factors.
Read the article to the end. This way, you’ll know the specifics of the disease. And you’ll understand what you can expect from the condition.
What Is Bell’s Palsy?
It is characterized by temporary paralysis of the facial muscles. This may occur due to viral infection. It’s because of inflammation and swelling of the seventh cranial nerve. This nerve controls the muscles. A person cannot control the facial muscles during a malfunction of this nerve. As a result, the face will look saggy.
Most often, with this disease, people have such an effect on only one side of a face. But in some cases, sagging can also be observed from both sides. During a smile, part of the face will remain motionless. And the eyes will be open. This disease can last for one or several months. The disease got its name from Charles Bell. He was a Scottish surgeon who first described the condition in the 19th century.
Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy
It is a medical condition. It affects the facial nerve, causing weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. The symptoms can vary. And they depend on the severity of the condition. But people associate several common symptoms with the disorder. The most common of them are:
- Sudden, unexplained weakness or paralysis. It’s usually on one side of the face. This can cause difficulty smiling, closing the eye, or raising the eyebrow on that side. The weakness or paralysis can be partial or complete and occur on one or both sides of the face.
- Drooping of the mouth. This is another common symptom of Bell’s Palsy. It can cause difficulty speaking, eating, or drinking and lead to drooling. Some people may also experience pain or discomfort around the jaw or behind the ear. All these are on the affected side.
- Increased sensitivity to sound in one ear, a loss of taste on the front two-thirds of the tongue, and difficulty closing the eye on the affected side. Some patients may also experience tearing or a feeling of dryness in the affected eye.
In some cases, people may experience extra symptoms. They can be headaches, neck pain, or a feeling of fullness in the ear. These symptoms are usually mild and do not last for an extended period.
It’s important to note that the condition can occur at any age and affect both men and women. The symptoms of facial muscle weakness usually develop suddenly. And they can range from mild to severe. Some people may experience a complete recovery. In contrast, others may have some residual weakness or other symptoms.
If you experience any symptoms, you must consult a doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment can improve the chances of a full recovery. And a doctor can also rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
Bell’s Palsy Causes
The disease occurs because the seventh cranial nerve can swell or shrink. As a result, the person’s face becomes uncontrollable, leading to paralysis. To date, it is not completely known what the exact cause of this damage is. But many doctors suggest that it is due to a viral infection.
Here is a list of what the causes of Bell’s Palsy are:
- Epstein-Barr virus.
- Lyme disease.
Many experts in the field of virology believe that the above viruses trigger the disease. It is believed that Bell’s palsy pain may be dormant, and viruses can wake it up. This then leads to disease.
Thus, it is always important to check your symptoms. And especially if you have recently been ill or injured, you should consult a doctor. This will help cut the occurrence of this disease.
Risk Factors of Bell’s Palsy
Several risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing the disease. These include:
- Viral infections. Viral infections may be a contributing factor to the development of Bell’s palsy face pain. It can be herpes simplex, the flu, or other respiratory infections.
- Family history. Individuals with a family history of disease may be at a higher risk of developing the condition.
- Pregnancy. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing Bell’s Palsy. It’s particularly during the last trimester and in the weeks following delivery.
- Age. This disease is more common in people aged 15-60.
- Gender. Men are slightly more likely to develop the condition than women.
- Chronic illnesses. Chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune disorders may increase the risk.
- Obesity. The risk of getting the disease is higher if you are obese. Thus, it is very important to follow a healthy diet. This will help reduce the risk of getting sick.
Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean a person will develop the condition. Also, many people who develop it have no known risk factors. But keep in mind that reducing some risks can lead to some improvements. That is why you should always adhere to a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition.
Risks of Facial Palsy
Bell’s palsy face pain can cause a variety of complications and dangers. Some of the most common include:
- Facial asymmetry: Facial palsy can cause weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. It leads to facial asymmetry. This can affect a person’s appearance, self-esteem, and social interactions.
- Difficulty speaking and eating: Drooping of the mouth caused by facial palsy can make it difficult to speak or eat, which can lead to malnutrition or weight loss.
- Eye complications: Bell’s palsy pain can make it difficult to close the eye on the affected side, leading to dryness, irritation, or infection.
- Loss of taste: Facial palsy can affect the taste buds on the front two-thirds of the tongue, leading to a loss of taste or a change in the perception of taste.
- Hearing problems: Facial palsy can cause increased sensitivity to sound in one ear, which can lead to hearing problems.
- Psychological distress: Facial palsy can affect a person’s self-esteem and social interactions, leading to emotional distress, depression, or anxiety.
- Long-term complications: In some cases, facial palsy can lead to long-term complications, such as chronic pain or synkinesis, a condition where the person’s facial muscles contract in an unwanted way.
It’s important to consult with a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have facial palsy. Early treatment can improve the chances of a full recovery and can also help prevent or minimize complications.
As you can see, Bell’s palsy face pain is a rather specific disease. Many people can get this paralysis for no clear reason. But this disease can also quickly recede, and the person may suddenly recover. But in any case, it is important to consider all the risks and symptoms. Thus, you need to contact a specialist in case of any suspicion.
To save yourself or get a course of treatment, seek the help of professionals. Consider the LoneStar Neurology clinic. It is enough to call 214-619-1910 or use the special contact button. After that, our manager will contact you and provide further instructions.
- Is Bell’s palsy hereditary?
Bell’s palsy is not considered to be a hereditary condition. Studies have suggested that there may be a genetic component to the condition. But more research is needed to confirm this.
- Does stress cause Bell’s palsy?
Stress is not considered to be a direct cause of Bell’s palsy. But stress can be a contributing factor to the onset of the condition. People with Bell’s palsy may be more likely to have had a recent viral infection. It can also be another stressful event in their lives.
- Should I be worried if I have Bell’s palsy?
It can be alarming to experience sudden facial weakness. But Bell’s palsy is generally self-limiting. It can improve on its own within a few weeks or months. But it is important to consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of it. Early treatment can improve the chances of a full recovery.
- Does Bell’s palsy affect the brain?
Bell’s palsy does not affect the brain. But it does affect the facial nerve, which controls the muscles of the face. The condition causes inflammation and swelling of the facial nerve. And it leads to weakness or paralysis on one side of the face.