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Bell’s palsy

Bell’s palsy is a sudden weakness of the facial muscles which makes half of the face assumes a drooping appearance. Smiling is only one sided and the eye on that side will not close.

Bell’s palsy is also known as facial palsy which can occur at any age and usually caused by swelling and inflammation of the nerves that are responsible in controlling the muscles on one side of the face. Remember that this is also a reaction that happens after a viral infection.

The symptoms of bell’s palsy usually begins with pain in the neck or at the back of the head and eventually becomes severe and starts to heal within a few weeks and complete recovery will take up to six months, but there is a tendency for it to recur.

Symptoms

  • Pain can be felt around the jaw or at the back the ear on the affected side
  • Increased sensitivity to sound especially on the affected side
  • Headaches and drooling
    Bell's palsy

    Pain can be felt around the jaw or at the back the ear on the affected side

  • Rapid weakness or total paralysis on one side of the face which happens within an hour up to a few days.
  • Facial drooping and difficulties in making facial expressions such as smiling and closing of the eye.
  • There is loss of taste, and changes in the amount of tears and saliva produced.

Treatment

  • Apply a warm compress on the affected area. Simply dip a clean cloth in hot water and squeeze out the excess, fold the cloth several times over the face at least 3 times every day. This helps in relaxing the muscles and preventing atrophy.
  • Use lubricating eye drops in the morning and eye ointment at night in order to keep the eye moist. Another measure is to wear glasses or goggles in the morning and an eye patch at night to protect the eye from being poked or scratched.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen pain.
  • Massage and exercise the face to promote the relaxation of the facial muscles.
  • Using castor oil helps in minimizing the swelling and heals the damaged nerve. It also helps strengthen the facial muscles and increases the elasticity. All you have to do is heat castor oil in a pan, dip a cotton ball into the oil and apply to the affected face and then cover the compress using a flannel to help retain the heat. This should be performed at least three times every day.
  • Crush three cloves of garlic and mix with a teaspoon of olive oil. The individual should swallow this mixture at least twice every day. Remember that garlic helps lessen the swelling and pain as well as stimulates blood circulation in the area.
  • Perform some relaxation therapy such as yoga and meditation since these can help people affected by Bell’s palsy. It also helps relieve tension in the muscles and relieves the pain.
  • Consume celery which is rich in vitamins and minerals and helps maintain health of the nerve and heals them once injured. In addition, it also enhances immunity of the body and for good health.

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