What is Bell's Palsy?

Bell's palsy is a neurological disorder that causes temporary weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. It's the most common cause of facial nerve paralysis, affecting 1–4 in every 10,000 people annually.

Is There Treatment for Bell's Palsy?

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicines when started early in the acute phase of the disease can improve the outcomes much quicker, some as soon as 2-3 weeks. 

Acupuncture has long been proven to be very effective in treating Bell's Palsy, greatly reducing the amount of time for recovery. Typical treatment plan for the quickest recovery is 2-3 treatments a week for the first 2-3 weeks, and when combined with starting an herbal formula specific to facial or body paralysis, recovery is much quicker. It may take up to 10-20 treatments total, however the frequency of the treatments combined with the Chinese herbal medicne can reduce the number of treatments and the amount of time it takes to recover. 

Its important to seek evaluation by your Doctor as soon as possible. Your Doctor may prescribe steroids and an antiviral drug such as acyclovir, as it is believed that Bell's Palsy often is the result of a virus. 

They may also recommend therapies to help with symptom relief and speed up recovery, such as:
  • Eye care
  • Eye drops, including artificial tears
  • Eye patch
  • Corticosteroids
  • Physical therapy to prevent muscles from permanently contracting 

Without treatment Bell's Palsy may take 6 months or longer for comlete recovery, although some individuals may have long term weakness in some muscles of their face. 

What Causes Bell's Palsy?

The exact cause of Bell's palsy is unknown, but it's often linked to viral infections, such as those that cause cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox, shingles, and more. Other risk factors include diabetes, pregnancy, preeclampsia, obesity, high blood pressure, and having had Bell's palsy before

Who Gets Bell's Palsy?

Bell's Palsy can occur at any age, but it is less common before age 15 or after age 60. It disproportionately attacks pregnant women and people who have diabetes or upper respiratory ailments such as the flu or a cold.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include:

  • Twitching, Sudden weakness, or paralysis on one or both sides of the face, drooping of the eyelid and corner of the mouth, drooling, dryness of the eye or mouth, impairment f taste, and excessive tearing in one eye.
  • Symptoms usually begin suddenly and reach their peak within 48 hours, lead to significant facial distortion.
  • Can cause pain or discomfort around the jaw and behind the ear, ringing in one or both ears, headache, loss of taste, hypersensitivity to sound on the affected side, impaired speech, dizziness, and difficulty eating or drinking.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, but in most cases, they improve significantly over weeks and resolve on their own within six months. Around 90% of people with Bell's palsy make a full recovery. However, some people may not recover completely or experience a recurrence of symptoms.