Bell’s palsy is known as a paralysis of the face usually affecting one side of the face. About 80% of the time, this condition subsides after 3 months; however, a number of sufferers can have symptoms that last longer and sometimes even indefinitely. Bell’s palsy patients may think they have experienced a stroke when they first notice the effect of their condition, a visit to their doctor helps resolve their fears.
Ball’s palsy symptoms include:
Inability to shut the eye – This usually means wearing an eye patch to prevent tearing in the eye
Loss of taste
A sagging or drooping mouth
Bell’s palsy may be a result of an injury to a facial nerve and is an acquired weakness of one side of the face. The affected side show symptoms like an inability to whistle, wrinkle the forehead, smile and the aforementioned inability to shut the eye. The condition also results in mildly slurred speech. Because the eye cannot completely shut, tearing usually happens. The sensation of taste can be lessened on the tongue’s front half. Sound sensation may become more sensitive on the affected side (hyperacusis) probably as a result of the paralysis of the stapedius muscle although the hyperacusis can also happen independently of the stapedius muscle paralysis. Optic neuritis may also occur on the affected side. Bell’s palsy most often manifests over hours to days with its full manifestation evident within several days. There is slight pain felt behind the ear and some type of numbness as well on the affected portion of the face. Bell’s palsy can be first noticed when a person looks at his face it in a mirror; it can also be noticed or sensed during eating especially when food collects between the gums and cheek.
Bell’s palsy affects about 1 in 4000 people per year. The chances for acquiring this condition increase a little with age.