What is it?
It is a condition in which the muscles on one side of your face become weak or paralyzed. It affects only one side of the face at a time, causing it to droop or become stiff on that side.You may find difficult to smile or close your eyes. This can occur at any age but is most common in people between ages 16 to 60. Bell’s Palsy is temporary and the symptoms go after a few weeks.
What are the symptoms?
- It develops one to two weeks after you have a cold, ear infection, or eye infection. The symptoms usually appear abruptly, and you may notice them when you wake up in the morning or when you try to eat or drink.
- Symptoms happen on one side of the face and they are sudden and reach peak in a couple of days.
- You’re unable to close your eyelid or blink
- Your eye waters more or less than usual
- Difficulty chewing
- Decreased sense of taste
- Your facial muscles twitch
- Pain or numbness behind your ear
- Sensitivity to sound
- Decreased ability to taste
- Changes in quantity of tears produced
- Inability to close an eyelid
1. Eye Care: Wearing protective glasses during the day, an eye patch at night, and using hydrating eye drops can help prevent long-term damage.
2. Moist Heat: Many find that a warm cloth may help resolve pain and discomfort. To relieve tension and promote restful sleep, add one or more of your favorite essential oils for anxiety like lavender, rose, ylang ylang or chamomile. Repeat the warm compress whenever pain reappears, or you need to relax.
3. Massage: Ask your physical therapist for massage techniques that you can do at home. Many patients find gentle massage of the face can ease symptoms and discomfort.
4. Acupuncture: Acupuncture stimulates nerves and muscles, providing relief to patients. In fact, many experience improvement after just one or two treatments. The key is to find an acupuncture practitioner in your area with expertise in treating Bell’s palsy.
5. Vitamin B12: In addition to enjoying vitamin B12-rich foods like grass-fed beef and beef liver, sardines, wild-caught fish, cottage cheese and eggs, adding a high-quality B12 supplement may help your recovery.
6. Vitamin B6: Associated with healthy nervous system function and eye health, ensuring you are getting enough vitamin B6 is imperative in any Bell’s palsy treatment plan. As B6 is water soluble, supplementation is not typically recommended; it is far better to consume vitamin B6-rich foods like free-range turkey breast, grass-fed beef, blackstrap molasses, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chickpeas.
7. Zinc: Adding zinc-rich foods to your diet like lamb, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cashews and others can help you heal quicker from the virus or underlying condition causing your symptoms.
Things to watch out for
Call 000 if the face droops on one side (the mouth or eye may have drooped), person can’t lift up both arms and keep them there or person has difficulty speaking (speech may be slurred or garbled). Your GP might prescribe a type of steroid called prednisolone. Treatment with prednisolone should begin within 3 days (72 hours) of the symptoms starting.