Bell’s Palsy

Definition

Bell’s palsy refers to facial paralysis caused by a lesion or inflammation of the facial nerve. Symptoms resemble a stroke, with unilateral facial weakness. However, most facial weakness from strokes spares the forehead muscles. These are weakened with Bell’s palsy. Patients will have unilateral facial weakness that often causes difficulty with eyelid closure, dropping of the affected side of the mouth and reduced ability to wrinkle the forehead or the nose. Symptoms can range from mild weakness to complete paralysis. Patients can also complain of other unusual symptoms such as change in taste, soreness near or behind the ear, and increased volume of sound in the effected ear.

Cause

Cause of Bell’s palsy is not always clear, though a viral infection is typically suspected. Compression of the nerve, a stroke of the nerve, and Lyme disease can cause similar findings. At the onset of symptoms, there is some utility in taking a brief course of steroids. There is less evidence for the use of antiviral medications, but this is typically given as well. Despite the early use of these therapies, improvement is a very gradual process and may take weeks or months to improve.

Bell’s palsy may be triggered by trauma, environmental stressors, or emotional stressors. Pregnant women and diabetics are at an increased risk. Complete recovery occurs in more than 70% of patients. The remaining patients may have residual symptoms or severe residual weakness. There are some surgical options for patients who have prolonged, severe facial weakness without improvement.

A physician should be consulted at the onset of symptoms to appropriately rule out stroke or other disorders in patients with Bell’s palsy and to initiate steroid and antiviral therapy. Measures may also be taken to guard the affected eye if eyelid closure is a problem. Long term management is aimed at monitoring recovery and considering the need for other interventions.

 

Update as of 3/23/2020

 

The physicians of Legacy Spine and Neurological Specialists are fully committed to continuing to offer care to all our patients in the safest possible manner for our staff and all our patients, as well as all the entire population of our state, during this unprecedented healthcare crisis our nation is facing at this time.   Social distancing is the most important method of trying to slow the spread of this pandemic. Therefore starting 3/23/2020 we are closed. You may call 501-661-0077 or continue to our website and use our securing messaging system.

 

As of 3/30/202 we will offer Telehealth consultations for new and existing patients in accordance with the requests of President Trump and Governor Hutchinson.   We will do the very best we can To arrive at a diagnosis and treatment plan for your issues via Telehealth. Most non urgent in person care will be explained and planned for but delayed until the social distancing is no longer appropriate for your condition. We will be offering in person care for only for limited urgent issues including selected spinal And cranial procedures.

 

Our MRI will be used with the greatest of preventative caution and in strict adherence of social distancing for our patients and staff.

 

Please be patient with any inconveniences during this period of time. We hope that all will join us in prayer for a full recovery for all Across the entire world afflicted with the Covid 19 and that we will this invisible war ASAP, and for the souls of those who have lost the battle!   God Bless America and the World!

COVID-19 POLICY NOTICE