What is Bell’s palsy?
Bell’s palsy is a form of facial paralysis with no known cause. It is generally considered a diagnosis of exclusion and is made when all other causes of facial
What causes Bell’s palsy?
The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is unknown. There are several proposed causes but none have been definitely proven.
How do you treat Bell’s palsy?
There is no consensus on the treatment of Bell’s palsy. Most physicians will consider a mixture of steroid treatment, antiviral treatment, and in the most severe cases surgery.
Patients who suffer from Bell’s palsy or any type of facial
What is the prognosis with Bell’s palsy?
Fortunately, complete recovery is the rule after an episode of Bell’s palsy. Approximately 80-90% of patients will recover completely. Of the remaining patient’s most will recover some if not most of their facial nerve function without a significant complication.
What if I don’t have return of function?
Though rare, persistent facial
- When paralyzed, the brow can droop causing difficulty seeing. In order to counter this droop, a surgery can be performed which raises the brow and sets it in a new position. The procedure is similar to forehead lifts performed for cosmetic reasons.
- Closing the eye completely can be a problem in patients with facial
paralysisbecause of inability to control the orbicularis oculi muscle. By implanting a gold weight into the upper eyelid, the eyelid can be helped to close and thereby keep the eye from drying out.
- Patients who have facial
paralysiscan have pull down of the lower eyelid and difficulty keeping the eye moist. In order to combat this problem, several procedures can be undertaken. First, if the lower eyelid is lax, a lower eyelid tightening procedure called a canthoplasty or canthopexy can be performed. Second, in order to take the weight off of the lower eyelid causing the pulldown, a midface lift can be performed to pull the cheek back into its normal position.
- For patients who suffer from drooling because of difficulty moving their mouth and difficulty breathing through their nose because of collapse of their nose several procedures are available which can help. By taking tissue from the leg, using synthetic material, or using the masseter muscle, a connection can be made between the masseter or temporalis muscle which are not controlled by the facial nerve to the muscles surrounding the mouth and nose. In this way, by clenching the teeth, the muscle is pulled tight and the patient can appear to smile and close the mouth. Though this takes some training, it can be a useful adjunct to other procedures for facial rehabilitation.
While this is not a complete list of possibilities, evaluation of a patient with persistent facial