1. Sudden Paralysis
Bell's palsy comes on suddenly. It's frightening, both to you and your family members. You may simply wake up one morning and notice one side of your face drooping. You can't close one of your eyes. In fact, Bell's palsy greatly resembles a stroke. Numbness, tingling and weakness in the facial muscles look like a stroke, but thankfully, Bell's palsy is not as serious as a stroke. While there are treatments, about 75% of Bell's palsy patients recover spontaneously. It may take weeks, but the condition usually disappears as mysteriously as it appeared.
2. Face the Facts
A virus causes Bell's palsy. Several research studies concluded that Bell's palsy comes from the same type of virus that causes cold sores (herpes simplex). Several things can trigger an attack of Bell's palsy. Triggers include fever, colds, having a tooth pulled or exposure to extreme cold. Extra-stressful situations in life can also trigger Bell's palsy. The body's facial nerve reacts to the infection, virus or extreme stress by swelling. The swollen facial nerve gets pinched, and Bell's palsy results. The pinched nerve affects the facial muscles, resulting in temporary paralysis. Often, the condition goes away on its own, with no need for treatment.
3. Watch the Eye
The most important treatment for Bell's palsy has to do with protecting an eye that won't close due to paralysis of the facial muscles. If the eye doesn't close, tears won't flow. Lack of tears is dangerous because ulcers can form on the cornea of the eye, putting you in jeopardy of losing the eye. Simple treatments usually solve this problem. Use the back of your finger to close the eye. Don't use your fingertip because it's less sanitary and your fingertip or fingernail can damage the eye. Your doctor may prescribe artificial tear drops and ointments. Safety glasses or an eye patch protects the eye from damage, too.
4. Ring the Fight Bell
Fight Bell's palsy with antibiotics if the condition is due to infection. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to fight the bacteria that caused the attack, if appropriate. Doctors sometimes prescribe steroids for the swelling of the facial nerve. In some rare cases, it may be necessary to have surgery to relieve pressure off the nerve.
5. Speed Healing With Vitamins
Several vitamins and nutrients are helpful in speeding the healing of Bell's palsy. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin A, zinc, copper and liquid aged garlic extract battle viral infections such as Bell's. To complete this antioxidant treatment, add vitamin E and selenium.