What is bell’s palsy?
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UNDERSTANDING bell’s palsy
Bell’s palsy is a condition characterized by sudden, temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. It occurs when the facial nerve, which controls facial muscles, becomes inflamed or compressed, leading to the development of symptoms. Bell’s palsy can affect anyone at any age, but it is most commonly observed in individuals between the ages of 15 and 60.
The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is still unknown, but it is believed to be related to viral infections, such as the herpes simplex virus, that cause swelling and inflammation of the facial nerve. The inflammation disrupts the normal signals sent by the facial nerve to the facial muscles, resulting in weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. Although the exact triggers are not fully understood, factors such as viral infections, autoimmune disorders, and genetic predisposition may play a role.
SYMPTOMS of bell’s palsy
If you have Bell’s palsy, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face, typically developing within a day or two.
- Facial drooping or difficulty controlling facial muscles, affecting expressions, such as smiling or closing the eye on the affected side.
- Loss of taste or altered sense of taste on the front two-thirds of the tongue.
- Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side of the face.
- Pain or discomfort around the jaw or behind the ear on the affected side.
- Excessive tearing or drooling.
- Changes in speech, such as slurred or distorted speech.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR bell’s palsy
Acupuncture can be a valuable complementary therapy for individuals with Bell’s palsy, helping to promote recovery and restore normal facial function. By targeting specific acupuncture points, it aims to reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, and stimulate the affected facial nerves and muscles. These treatments are most effective three – six months after onset. The benefits of acupuncture for Bell’s palsy within that time frame include: