Bell's Palsy - Highlights
Bell's palsy (BP) is a neurological disorder causing sudden, unilateral facial nerve paralysis leading to weakness of the facial muscles of expression.
Among the many factors causing facial nerve paralysis, BP is the most common.
📝Here are some "Highlights" or a high level overview of Bell’s Palsy
It is important to rule out possible conditions or diseases causing facial nerve paralysis before coming to a diagnosis of BP. Hence BP is a diagnosis of exclusion.
Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a condition consisting of a triad of three signs - a) nontender swelling of the lips, b) fissured tongue and c) facial paralysis.
Ramsay-Hunt syndrome (RHS) is a complication caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus in the geniculate ganglion. Patients with RHS may exhibit facial paralysis, vertigo, hearing deficits and pain in the external auditory meatus. In addition the oral mucosa may develop vesicular eruptions.
BP is mainly attributed to the inflammation of the facial nerve and the resultant edema causing compression of the facial nerve along the fallopian (facial) canal.
Most favored hypothesis is that reactivation of a Herpes simplex virus (HSV) or Herpes zoster virus (HZV) causes (facial) nerve inflammation and damage.
The paralysis may take a few hours to develop. But, most frequently, patients wake up in the morning with unilateral paralysis.
Some clinical manifestations -> inability able to raise eyebrow, cannot close eyelids, drooping mouth, drooling saliva and slurred speech.
BP is a self-limiting condition, with most patients recovering within a few months without the need for treatment.
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