The most common cause of facial paralysis is Bell’s palsy. It is a condition where one side of the face loses muscle control. While Bell’s palsy and facial paralysis go hand-in-hand, the two conditions are not the same. There are many causes of facial paralysis that are not Bell’s palsy and may need different treatments. It is important that those who believe they have Bell’s palsy receive a thorough diagnosis to determine the best treatment for their condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s palsy symptoms may appear instantaneously for no apparent reason, and the exact cause is not known. It is believed viral infections may play a part, as well as other risk factors. Some people report that sounds seemed louder or they feel a pain behind their ear in the days before the other symptoms occur. Bell’s palsy only affects one side of the face, and symptoms may include:
- Unable to blink or close one eye
- One eye waters more than usual
- Trouble chewing
- Visible drooping on one side of the face
- Muscle spasms or twitching
It is important to get diagnosed right away if you believe you have Bell’s palsy. It is important to rule out other causes of facial paralysis. Most cases of Bell’s palsy go away on their own over a few months, but there is a small percentage that experience ongoing symptoms.
Treatment Options for Bell’s Palsy
For those that have Bell’s palsy, initial treatment may include anti-viral medications or steroids. Each case is unique, and patients are evaluated to determine the best course of treatment. For those whose symptoms persist, surgery may be required, or other treatments may be used to help control the facial paralysis.
Joshua D. Rosenberg, MD, is highly experienced in treating facial paralysis and symptoms of Bell’s palsy. He offers treatments such as Botox injections to relax facial muscles for a more natural appearance and eyelid surgery to reanimate the eye. If you have Bell’s palsy and are looking for treatment options, contact our office to schedule a consultation.