Treating Your Bell's Palsy: What You Should Know
When you begin to experience a lack of control over your facial muscles, you likely begin to panic. After all, partial facial paralysis is a common symptom of a stroke. However, when you go in to the doctor for neurological services and treatment, you find that you are not in fact having a stroke, but are instead suffering from Bell's Palsy, a paralysis of your facial muscles when stems from nerve damage or injury. While this condition is usually only temporary, you do need to seek out treatment to get it under control and to protect your health until the use of your facial muscles returns.
Get to know your treatment options, and get on the road to recovery:
One of the most common treatment options for Bell's Palsy is through the prescription of steroid medications. These prescription pills are anti-inflammatory agents that can greatly reduce underlying swelling in your facial region.
Inflammation in your face may actually be what is damaging or hindering the proper function of your facial nerves. Thus, the steroid medications can help speed your recovery by more quickly reducing the inflammation and relieving pressure in your facial area.
Some physicians will also prescribe antiviral medications to patients with Bell's Palsy. These antivirals are paired with steroid treatments to help speed recovery.
The use of antivirals for Bell's Palsy is still relatively new, and some question whether or not it works any better than steroid treatments alone. However, in some cases, it does seem to boost recovery.
If your facial paralysis continues beyond a few weeks or months, then the condition may require more aggressive treatment. Facial nerve decompression surgery can relieve pressure on your nerves and restore function to your paralyzed facial muscles.
Surgical interventions do carry some risks, however. Deafness is one possible side effect of nerve decompression surgery. This is why, in the case of Bell's Palsy, surgery is not the first medical intervention recommended.
Because you will not have full control over your facial muscles while recovering from Bell's Palsy, you will need to take extra precautions to ensure that you remain healthy throughout the process. You may not be able to blink or close your eyes properly for example.
Because of this, you will need to use your (clean) finger to open and close your eyelids throughout the day. You will also likely need to administer eye drops to keep your eyes from drying out and sustaining unnecessary damage.
Wearing protective glasses and sunglasses will also be necessary. And wearing a patch while sleeping will further protect your eye from debris and damage.
You may also have problems tasting or feeling your tongue on one side of your mouth. Because of this, you will need to make sure you brush and floss thoroughly while recovering from your Bell's Palsy to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Treatment for Bell's Palsy ranges from the wait and see approach up to surgical intervention depending on the severity and longevity of your symptoms. As you undergo treatment, remember that recovery takes time and that you need to take extra steps to care for yourself in the meantime to stay healthy. If you do this, your recovery will progress smoothly and without further issue.
To learn more, contact a company like Hamza; Mohsen MD with any questions you have.