What Is Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis that causes sudden weakness in muscles on one half of the face. It occurs when the nerve that controls movement on one side of the face (the Facial Nerve) becomes inflamed. Bell’s Palsy often occurs for reasons unknown but could sometimes be a result of a viral infection. This condition can affect a person’s daily function, communication with others, self-esteem, and quality of life.
How Does It Present?
The Facial nerve controls facial movement and expressions. Therefore, it’s paralysis can present in the following ways:
- Inability to close the eye on the affected side
- Drooping of the affected side (within a few hours to overnight)
- Teariness or dryness of the affected eye
- Pain in or behind the ear on the affected side
- Sensitivity to sound
- Loss of the sense of taste
- Difficulty speaking due to weakness around the mouth
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
While Bell’s Palsy can often resolve itself within 6 months, Physical Therapy can be useful in speeding up this healing process and preventing complications related to the condition such as contraction (permanent tightening) of the facial muscles.
Our Physical Therapists at ProMet PT are movement specialists even when it comes to the movement of your face! We will…
Educate you about how to protect your face and your eye
Show you how to manage your daily life functions while you have facial paralysis
Explain the expected path to recovery, so that you will know the signs and symptoms of recovery
Evaluate your progress, and determine whether you need to be referred to a specialist if progress is not being made
Teach you an array of exercises to stimulate and strengthen facial muscles.
Overall, we will help you regain the healthy pattern of movements that you need for facial expressions and function! Book an appointment with us today at one of our Atlas Park, Briarwood or Manhasset locations!
Katherine Gili, DPT