Facial palsy, also known as peripheral facial palsy or Bell’s facial palsy, is a neurological disorder that occurs when the facial nerve is affected for some reason, leading to the appearance of symptoms such as difficulty moving the face, lack of expression in a part of the face or just a sensation of hormigueo.
In most times, facial paralysis is temporal, caused by an inflammation around the nerve, generating a compression that triggers the symptoms, being more common, after an infection by the herpes simplex virus and herpes zoster, but also by cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr (EBV), rubella, papers or due to immune diseases such as Lyme disease.
In this way, if you observe a paralysis, it is important to consult a doctor to identify, if there is any other problem that needs treatment. In addition, if other symptoms such as disorientation, weakness in other parts of the body, fever or fainting appear, it is important to immediately go to the doctor.
The most frequent symptoms of facial paralysis are:
Twisted mouth, which is most evident when trying to smile;
Lack of expression on one side of the face;
Inability to close one of the eyes, lift one eye or fruncir the blind;
Pain is tingling in the head or in the jaw;
Increase of the sensitivity of the sound, in one of the oidos.
The diagnosis of facial palsy is carried out through the observation of the doctor and in most cases, it is not necessary to carry out complementary exams. However, to certify that it is just a peripheral facial palsy, you can resort to magnetic resonance imaging, electroneuromyography and blood tests, for example, to find the exact diagnosis.
What can cause paralysis?
Facial paralysis is a condition that occurs due to the involvement of facial nerves, where the muscles responsible for movement and expression of the face become paralyzed, causing sudden and temporal weakness of the facial muscles. Some of the possible causes of paralysis are: sudden changes in temperature, stress, trauma, viral infections by herpes simplex, herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus or others, and they can rarely be a consequence of other illnesses.
Asimism, paralysis can occur in the facial nerve tract within the brain. When it occurs inside the brain, it is a consequence of ACV and it is accompanied by other symptoms and sequelae. When there is brain damage, in the face, it is easier to be treated and in this case, it is called peripheral facial or Bell’s palsy.
How is the treatment performed?
Generally, the treatment for facial paralysis consists of the administration of corticosteroid drugs, such as prednisone, which can be associated with an antiviral such as valaciclovir, without embargo, the doctor, only recommends it in some situations.
In addition, it is necessary to carry out physical therapy and apply lubricating eye drops to prevent ocular dryness. The use of eye drops or artificial tears is essential to keep the affected eye, properly hydrated and reduce the risk of corneal injury. To sleep, apply an ointment prescribed by the doctor and use eye protection, like a blindfold.
People who experience pain associated with paralysis can use an analgesic or an anti-inflammatory, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
How is physical therapy performed?
Physiotherapy uses facial exercises to strengthen muscles and improve facial movements and expressions. However, it is important that these exercises are performed several times a day, every day, to enhance the treatment.
Therefore, in addition to the sessions with a physical therapist, it is essential to carry out the exercises at home and, in some cases, it might be necessary to carry out some sessions with a speech therapist. See more details on how physiotherapy should be.
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