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Facial paralysis also called as Bell's palsy, is a condition where one of the sides of the face meets with paralysis. Bell's palsy is a self resolving condition having partial or complete weakness of the facial muscles. Usually one side of the face is affected.
Two hundred years ago, Sir Charles Bell first detailed a condition which causes weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles.
The Facial Nerve originating in the brain (in the pons) controls the muscles of the forehead, neck and facial expressions. It is also responsible for the 'perceived sound volume'. Besides, it also stimulates secretions of tears and saliva. Trauma of the Facial nerve in any form causes Bell's palsy.
The condition affects men and women alike, has no age bar and has no particular affinity for any one side of the face.
One in every 65 people will suffer from Bell's palsy once in their lifetime. It is the most common disorder affecting just one nerve (mononeuropathy) making it most common cause of acute facial paralysis.
Symptoms range in severity from mild weakness to total paralysis. They include:
Facial distortion can be quite significant in Bell's palsy.
The exact cause remains unknown. However, some of the following factors could cause or trigger Bell's palsy:
Bell's palsy is a diagnosis of exclusion. All other known causes of facial palsy need to be eliminated before naming the condition as Bell's palsy.
Facial palsies from other causes usually present a number of symptoms not seen in Bell's palsy. They necessarily do not affect the muscles of the forehead. Besides, Bell's palsy will not bring about paralysis, weakness or numbness in other parts of the body.
Most people improve after the first two weeks. Complete recovery is usually seen in 3 to 7 months. Some may take longer for complete recovery 9 months to a year.
If you suspect Bell's palsy, its best to seek medical attention immediately. In majority of cases, the prognosis is very good. Complete facial paralysis or starting medications very late are commonly associated with complications.
Good news is that most people with Bell's palsy recover completely within 3 to 9 months. Yet, the most important factor in treatment is to eliminate the source of the condition.
Homeopathic treatment has known antiviral activity. It is also targeted towards healing of nerve damage in case of traumatic cases of Bell's palsy. Some of the commonly indicated medicines are Causticum, Arnica, Hypercicum, Mezerium, Belladanona. There are about 25 possible medicines to choose from, depending on the exact cause and symptoms.
Homeopathic treatment for Bell's palsy is strongly suggested for rapid recovery.