Often mistaken as a stroke, Bell’s Palsy is a rather common ailment which can affect children and adults. Like a stroke, the most common symptom of Bell’s Palsy would be the sudden weakness on one side of the face, thus creating the loop side, or down side on the left or right half. Unlike a stroke, fortunately, Bell’s Palsy health condition only affects your face causing facial paralysis.
Also known as peripheral facial palsy, cause of bell’s palsy is yet to be known. However, some experts relate bell’s palsy to viral infection such as cold sores, genital herpes viruses, chickenpox and shingles. This health condition can affect any age. But bell’s palsy is not caused by a stroke, although they do share similar symptoms.
Most patients suffering from Bell’s Palsy would head straight to the A&E (Accident & Emergency) Ward of the hospital upon realizing the tilted face, only to find relief to know that it is not a stroke. Therefore, it is good to also check out symptoms of bell’s palsy before you are too scared.
Fortunately, Bell’s Palsy is mostly temporary. Recovery takes 2 weeks to up to 6 months depending on your own body’s ability to fight and how much you take good care of it. Doctors may prescribe Steroids-based medications and some anti-viral drugs to help in the recovery. Please adhere to your doctor’s advice! However, do take note of the side effects that Steroids medications that cause. Pay close attention to your body during the first 2 weeks upon administering.
Here are several notable tips that you can take immediately in the meantime while waiting for recovery from your treatment of bell’s palsy.
Protect Your Ears
The affected side of your ear will tend to be extra sensitive or loud as compared to the other. Use an ear plug to protect it. We highly recommend Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs. These are very comfortable and it comes in different sizes.
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Wear An Eye Mask or Wear Sunglasses At The Very Least
Your effected eye will not be able to close properly due to facial paralysis cause by this condition, exposing it to dust or even air pollution if you are living in haze-prone areas. Many patients with bell’s palsy develop eye rashes, irritations, allergies, frequent tearing or even having an eye infection. Wearing an eye mask or an eye tape (usually provided by the healthcare practitioner upon diagnosis) will help. Should these be unavailable, wear shades or goggles to prevent any foreign particles from entering your eyes.
Constantly Administer Eye Drops or Moisturizers
While you are at the healthcare professional premises or Pharmacy, get those eye moisturizers and eye drops. Get many of them, have them handy and readily accessible whenever you head outside. You will need them! Similasan Dry Eye Drops work wonders even for post-Bell’s Palsy patients.
Get A Ton of Rest!
Most importantly, listen to your body and get a good ton of rest for the sake of your well being. Your steroid medication is probably making you tired most of the time. Sleep if you must. Take some time off from work or school to get a proper recovery. Taking a rest is definitely one of the health benefit that my doctor always prescribe to me 🙂
The Road to Recovery
The road to recovery can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. To quicken Bell’s Palsy recovery, healthcare provider may introduce several proven techniques and herbal remedies as follow:
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture
If you have access to a nearby Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture Clinic, speak to its ‘Sinseh’ – a certified TCM Practitioner and discuss your condition to him. He will administer Acupuncture on certain nerve points of your face and other related parts of your body to gain inner strength and nourish your ‘Qi’. A patient usually has to go through 10-20 sessions depending on severity of Bell’s Palsy. Some patients will start to experience improvements between the first and fourth session of Acupuncture. When compared to recovery rates from other methods, acupuncture treatment is one of the options you should seriously consider in your treatment of bell’s palsy.
Facial massages not only aids in recovery, it also helps to re-activate some nerves affected by Bell’s Palsy. For Acupuncture patients, ask your ‘Sinseh’ for the pressure points that you can self administer to pin point the right facial nerve when you are at home. Alternatively, there are several Youtube Videos that you can watch online to learn about these facial massages for Bell’s Palsy.
Vitamin B12 supports Brain Cells and Nerve Tissue repair – both of which are highly vital in your journey to Bell’s Palsy recovery. We recommend Jarrow Formulas, Methyl-B12. We found that this brand absorbs better than other forms of Vitamin B 12 in the market today.
For the minority of patients finding it difficult to swallow pills, Vitamin B 12 also comes in lozenges version!
Other people also opt for Vitamin B12 injections due to its convenience. Similar to oral based version, vitamin b 12 is used to treat many type of nerve disorders. Researchers found significantly faster recovery in the groups given vitamin B12 injections with or without steroids, compared to those given steroids alone (Reference: kaiserpermenente) .
Besides using to treat bell’s palsy, vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps to make DNA and improves nerve cell. The daily dosage of B vitamins to take really depends on your age. Always check the vitamin B12’s instruction that comes in the box for the correct amount. In no way, you should overdose the B vitamins. While, you can find these B vitamins in almost daily foods, the quickest way to treat bell’s palsy is likely to come from vitamin B12 injection or vitamin B12 tablets.
In short, vitamin B12 deficiency can also be a worrying sign that you should pay attention to.
According to this healthcare provider (here is the link), the use of oxygen therapy does help with bell’s palsy recovery as well. According to its website, it quote 21 reasons why its technology called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help. Remember to do your own due diligence check.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Supports cardiovascular and heart health as well. It is important to attain only EPA / DHA Omega-3 supplements. These helps improve your immunity system and function, of which may be low or lacking during this period of your Bell’s Palsy diagnosis. We highly recommend Now Foods, Omega-3 180 EPA / 120 DHA for a couple of reasons; the well-known and established brand name, relatively easy to swallow and for its high potency it has shown us.
Ultimately, do continue to pay a regular visit to your doctor for medical advice and for optimum recovery.
Have symptoms of bell’s palsy? Drop us a note or leave a comment and share your experience with other patients out there.
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