Bell's palsy is a type of facial paralysis that results in an inability to control the facial muscles on the affected side. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. They may include muscle twitching, weakness, or total loss of the ability to move one or rarely both sides of the face. Other symptoms include drooping of the eyelid/one side of face, drooling/spilling of food from one side of the mouth, a change in taste, pain around the ear, and increased sensitivity to sound. Typically symptoms come on over 48 hours.
The cause of Bell's palsy is unknown. Risk factors include diabetes, a recent upper respiratory or ear tract infection, and pregnancy. It results from a dysfunction of cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve).
Bells Palsy benefits greatly from physiotherapy to prevent long term and ongoing disability and to help speed up recovery.
It is beneficial to people with Bell's palsy as it helps to maintain muscle tone of the affected facial muscles and stimulate the facial nerve. It is important that muscle re-education exercises and soft tissue techniques be implemented prior to recovery in order to help prevent permanent contractures/weakness of the paralyzed facial muscles. We will also advise on techniques to make life easier and prevent other injuries/problems that can be associated with facial weakness.Book an appointment