The muscles in our body form a single part of the great gear that allows us to perform movements. These are responsible for generating the force to move the different parts of the body. On the other hand, the bones provide support, and the nerves are responsible for sending the signals and governing how each muscle will move and relate to others. Muscles.
When there is an error in the sending of nerve signals that prevents the arrival of the impulse to the muscles, then what we know as paralysis occurs. There are many different types of paralysis, among which is a so-called Bell’s palsy or peripheral facial palsy, which, as its name suggests, affects the face of those who suffer from it. This FastlyHealarticle will explain everything about peripheral facial paralysis: causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Table of Contents
What is peripheral facial palsy or bell palsy?
Peripheral facial palsy, also called Bell’s palsy, is a type of disorder in which the facial nerve is affected, one of the twelve pairs of nerves that originate in the head directly and is responsible for controlling the movements of the facial muscles.
It is called peripheral since, in these conditions, the nerve is affected in part far from its origin, which causes paralysis to occur on the same side where there is a region. In the opposite case, when a nerve injury occurs in the vicinity of the nerve originates, the term peripheral is replaced by central.
Causes of peripheral facial paralysis
Peripheral facial paralysis can be caused by injury or inflammation of the facial nerve or damage to the brain in the area that sends information to the muscles. Bell’s palsy is also known as idiopathic and means that the cause of this understanding is unknown. However, it has been associated with viral infections, responding to conditions with inflammation. These diseases that can cause peripheral facial paralysis are:
In other cases, it has been associated with systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure, among others.
It can also respond to a tumor or traumatic injury due to a head injury.
Symptoms of peripheral facial paralysis
The symptoms of perférica facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy appear suddenly and include:
- Affection on one side of the face can be observed drooping and with difficulty making facial expressions, smiling, or closing one eye on the affected side.
- Weakness or numbness
- Difficulty eating and drinking.
- Dry eyes.
- Dry mouth.
- Headache (in case it is associated with Lyme disease).
- Loss of taste
- Pain in one ear
- Sensitivity in the ear.
- Tear secretion decreased.
- Positive Bell phenomenon: When the eyelid does not close completely, the eyeball rises.
- Difficulty pronouncing words due to muscle weakness.
- Increased sensitivity to noise.
Treatment for peripheral facial paralysis
There is no specific treatment for peripheral facial paralysis. However, some therapies help to improve the symptoms considerably because the important thing about this injury is to correct the factor that triggers it and address it as soon as possible; among these are :
- The use of medications such as corticosteroids reduces facial nerve inflammation. The consumption of painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or paracetamol is responsible for relieving the pain caused by this alteration.
- If peripheral facial paralysis is caused by the herpes zoster virus, the recommended treatment is the consumption of Acyclovir as administered by the treating physician.
- It is also essential to keep an eye on the affected side hydrated since it is exposed to irritants and is generally in a state of dryness. For this, artificial tears and eye patches can be used.
- Another possible treatment and one of the most effective is physiotherapy performed by a specialist in the area. The facial nerve will be stimulated, and muscle tone will be worked; this is done through massages and facial exercises; it can also be combined with heat therapies to improve circulation in the area.
- Other therapies can be acupuncture, relaxation, electrotherapy (as stimulation), and the consumption of vitamins such as B12 and Zinc that promote nerve growth.
- Currently, surgery-based therapy is highly controversial and is not recommended as decompression surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve has not been proven to improve peripheral facial palsy.
- In other cases, when aesthetics such as the smile or the eyelid are affected, plastic surgery is recommended to correct the deformations present.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Peripheral facial paralysis: causes, symptoms, and treatment of Bell’s palsy , we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.