What is Bell's palsy.
Bell's palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop . The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks. Bell's palsy is not the result of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). While stroke and TIA can cause facial paralysis, there is no link between Bell's palsy and either of these conditions. But sudden weakness that occurs on one side of your face should be checked by a doctor right away to rule out these more serious causes.
Causes Bell's palsy
Some viruses are thought to establish a persistent (or latent) infection without symptoms, e.g., the varicella-zoster virus and Epstein-Barr viruses, both of the herpes family. Reactivation of an existing (dormant) viral infection has been suggested as a cause of acute Bell's palsy. Studies suggest that this new activation could be preceded by trauma, environmental factors, and metabolic or emotional disorders, thus suggesting that a host of different conditions may trigger reactivation. If the protective covering of the nerve becomes damaged, the signals which are being sent from the brain to the muscles in the face may not be transmitted properly, leading to weakened or paralyzed facial muscles - Bell's palsy.
What are the symptoms?
- Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of your face that causes it to droop. This is the main symptom. It may make it hard for you to close your eye on that side of your face.
- Eye problems, such as excessive tearing or a dry eye.
- Loss of ability to taste.
- Pain in or behind your ear.
- Numbness in the affected side of your face.
- Increased sensitivity to sound.
Home Remedies For Bell’s Palsy
- Licorice Root: Licorice root (glycyrrhiza glabra) contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-viral properties that prevents nerve damage and relax the facial muscles. The recommended dose is 10-15 gm.
- Ginger And Turmeric: Turmeric and ginger, which are widely used in Indian cuisine, also have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to ease the symptoms of Bell’s palsy. You can either take them in the form of supplement or use while preparing food.
- Cod liver: oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. The antioxidant properties of cod liver oil minimize the symptoms of Bell’s palsy quickly and bring relief. Take one teaspoon cod liver oil daily to improve your condition.
- Cayenne peppers: Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin which produces heat that increases the blood flow. The heat also works to reduce inflammation caused by Bell’s palsy. Either eat cayenne pepper or use capsaicin supplement.
- Celery: The medicinal properties contained in celery can help to cure nerve damage. Leaves and sticks should be consumed either raw or cooked.
- Garlic: Garlic Consume 3-4 crushed garlic a day to reduce swelling and pain.
- Exercise For The Eyes: Stretch your eyebrow upward with the opposite hand. Now remove your hands from the eyelids and make efforts to press eyelids together. Shrink your eyes as if you are trying to stare at the sun. Try this exercise 2-3 times.
- Facial Exercise: Take help of your fingers if you want. Try to bring your eyebrows close and frown. Wrinkle up the nose. Take deep breath through the nose and allow your nostrils to flare. Now using your finger, move the corner of your mouth outwards and upward as if you are trying to smile. Now take away your fingers and try to hold the expression for a while.
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- Music therapy: Music therapy has been reported to improve symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease. Modest improvement in symptoms including motor coordination, speech intelligibility and vocal intensity, bradykinesia (slow movement), emotional functions, activities of daily living, and quality of life were seen. Music therapy is generally known to be safe.
- Massage Therapy: Improving blood circulation massage can cure facial paralysis. Use warm olive oil for massage. Using your fingers, massage your face in circular motion. First massage your cheeks inward to outward. Then move to forehead, chin and your nose and massage them one by one for at least 2-3 minutes. This method will improve blood circulation in your facial muscles and aid in recovery
- Heat therapy: Heat therapy can also be applied to relieve patient from swelling of the muscles and reduce pain. Heat pad or heated gel packs are usually used, but warm and wet wash cloth can also be used to relieve the patients from pain and discomfort
- Electrical stimulation: which is used by physiotherapist as an additional treatment method, is sometimes recommended by doctors to establish neuromuscular communication and improve the condition of facial paralysis. A small amount of electricity is used to stimulate the facial muscles by affixing electrode on the patient’s body. Electric current is transmitted through electrode to the patient’s affected nerve.
- Acupressure Shiatsu: The practice of applying finger pressure to specific acupoints (energy points) throughout the body has been used in China since 2000 B.C. Shiatsu technique involves finger pressure at acupoints and along body meridians (energy lines). It may incorporate palm pressure, stretching, massaging, and other manual techniques.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been reported to help relieve symptoms of some neurological disorders including Bell's palsy, cerebral palsy, nerve damage, hemiplegia (full or partial paralysis of one side of the body due to disease, trauma or stroke), Parkinson's disease (characterized by fine muscle coordination and tremors), spinal cord injury, Tourette's syndrome (characterized by "tics"), and trigeminal neuralgia.
- Alexander technique: The Alexander technique is an educational program that teaches movement patterns and postures, with an aim to improve coordination and balance, reduce tension, relieve pain, alleviate fatigue, improve various medical conditions, and promote well-being.
- Chiropractic: Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that focuses on the relationship between musculoskeletal structure (primarily the spine) and body function (as coordinated by the nervous system), and how this relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.
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