The Hope Project (THP): Understanding Bell's Palsy

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

Bell’s Palsy is an unexplained episode of paralysis in one half of the face. It affects both women and men equally and tends to worsen over 48 hours. It is uncommon between the ages of 15 and 60. Usually, it is not permanent, but in some rare cases, it doesn’t go away. Most people recover full facial strength and expression in less than 6 months. The neurological epidemiology is damage to the facial nerve, the 7th nerve.


This article provides insight into the etiology (causes), the physiological effects, the neuropathology, and the management of Bell’s Palsy.

What is Bell’s Palsy?


Bell’s Palsy is an acute unilateral peripheral facial paralysis caused by damage to the 7th nerve; the facial nerve. Hence, it affects the movement of the half of the face, resulting in paralysis and loss of facial expression. Moreover, patients with Bell’s Palsy have a prognostic that is very hopeful. Most cases of this disorder are resolved within 6 months, however, in rare cases, it can result in permanent nerve damage. Overall, this disorder causes uncomfortable sensations because of numbness on the face.


What is the epidemiology of Bell’s Palsy?


Bell’s Palsy has an unknown cause, however, it is believed that it is due to inflammation in the area of control of the facial nerve. Bell’s Palsy can be associated with all the following:

  • High blood pressure

  • Injury

  • Toxins

  • Lyme Disease

  • Diabetes

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Infection (mainly after a viral infection)

These can be associated with Bell’s Palsy, but they are not a direct cause. People with disorders that are associated with Bell’s Palsy are more likely to experience it at some point due to the area being damaged. Moreover, if experiencing any symptoms of numbness or lack of movement in the face, reaching out to a professional will help control symptoms.


Bell’s Palsy and the House-Brackmann Facial Paralysis Scale


The House-Brackmann Facial Paralysis Scale is one used to evaluate facial paralysis at the nerve stem; it is not a descriptive scale. Doctors use this to evaluate the severity of the nerve damage that is resulting in Bell’s Palsy. However, once the severity is located, more assessments need to be done to evaluate the symptoms.


Grade I - Normal

Grade II - Mild Dysfunction

Grade III - Moderate Dysfunction

Grade IV - Moderately Severe Dysfunction

Grade V - Severe Dysfunction

Grade VI - Total Paralysis


This scale can help neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons evaluate where and what is damaged. This can help with what treatments to use and how to help the patient.



What are the treatments for Bell’s Palsy?


There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for Bell’s Palsy because most patients fully recover with or without treatment. However, corticosteroids are a common treatment for Bell’s Palsy. It is usually a non-invasive solution that doctors prescribe. On the other hand, it isn’t always necessary to be using steroids and these sorts of medications for a “self-curating” disease. If you have Bell’s Palsy and want to proceed with medications, going to a professional will help ensure proper treatment.


Where can you learn more about Bell’s Palsy?


Currently, there aren’t many associations that are made specifically for Bell’s Palsy. However, organizations, such as The National Organization for Nord Disorders (NORD) and The American Association Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, support and help create awareness of Bell’s Palsy.


Conclusion


Bell’s Palsy is a unilateral facial paralysis caused by damage to the facial nerve. It has a good prognosis because in most cases it is resolved in between 2 weeks and 6 months. It is considered rare but is treatable. Bell’s Palsy may be uncomfortable, but over time the symptoms will fade away.

 

Unwired India is a neurotech-startup that aims at integrating state-of-the-art research and developments in STEM, for catalyzing the transition of Neuroscience to Neurotechnology. We develop avant-garde non-invasive neurostimulation products used to solve some of the world’s most critical global issues and challenges. Our mission is to take cutting-edge brain research directly into the lives and homes of people, thereby fostering a unique culture of sustainable neuroscience and scientific literacy in India.

  • Founded in 2020, we are the pioneers of Nootropics and non-invasive Neurotechnology devices in the country, and offer so much more than high-quality, delicious Brain Nutrition products for daily cognitive support; a full-service health and fitness startup that has become an important part of the local community, here in New Delhi, India.

  • We develop non-GMO, all-natural nootropic (smart-drug) formulations, Himalayan herb blends, and specialized amino-nutraceutical interventions and supplements for enhanced brain function, cognition, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration.

 

The Hope Project (THP) is a neuro-disorder awareness initiative within the organizational framework of Unwired India. The initiative aims at creating and scaling awareness against the stigma, fear, and apprehensions associated with Neurological disorders.


Aims: To promote and develop awareness across global masses and to emphasize the importance of early detection, in addition to fostering a healthy lifestyle- which is important in the management and treatment of these ailments.


WORK WITH US.

Register at http://www.unwiredindia.com/team/

 

A friendly reminder: We've done our research, but you should too! Check our sources against your own and always exercise sound judgment.



https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/bells-palsy

https://medicine.uiowa.edu/iowaprotocols/house-brackmann-facial-paralysis-scale

https://www.facialparalysisinstitute.com/conditions/house-brackmann-grading-system/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3152161/

https://www.aanem.org/Patients/Muscle-and-Nerve-Disorders/Bell-s-Palsy 

Image Credits:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bells-palsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20370028


 

About the Author


Raquel Paz Bergia


Leader of The Hope Project & International Growth Ambassador (Madrid, Spain)


Raquel Paz Bergia is a writer from Spain who developed an interest in Neurology at an early age. Over the last few years, she has surrounded her studies around Cognitive Biomedical Engineering. She has a passion for learning and researching degenerative diseases and their impact on the community.








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