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What causes Bell's palsy?

Answered by: Dr Rajas Deshpande

M.D. (Medicine), D.M. (Neurology) Fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis (UWO Canada) Fellowship in Movement Disorders (UWO Canada) Consultant Neurologist

Q. I am a 25 years old male and I had an attack of palsy on my face due to which I was unable to move my lips to the left side. I can eat with left jaw and when I laugh my skin moves to the right side. I consulted a doctor who gave me medicine - Palsinuron, Nurokind and Aclogem but that did not help me. How can my problem be managed?

A.  This is called Bell's palsy on the left side. It means that the nerve (called facial nerve or the seventh cranial nerve) which causes movement of the muscles of your face is swollen / affected on the left side. This is why the muscles are paralysed, and you cannot move the lips to the left.

This is a very common condition that may be caused by exposure to cold breeze or weather, viral infections, or sometimes unknown reasons. However, if areas other than face are also involved, there may be a serious problem like stroke or tumour; hence an MRI of brain is advisable.

Its treatment includes steroids and the supportive medicines which have already been given to you. Proper physiotherapy and nerve stimulation are also recommended. Most cases show good recovery by three months, some take about a year, while a very few have no recovery. Surgery is not required. Any qualified neurologist will help you plan further management.

A.  This is called Bell's palsy on the left side. It means that the nerve (called facial nerve or the seventh cranial nerve) which causes movement of the muscles of your face is swollen / affected on the left side. This is why the muscles are paralysed, and you cannot move the lips to the left.

This is a very common condition that may be caused by exposure to cold breeze or weather, viral infections, or sometimes unknown reasons. However, if areas other than face are also involved, there may be a serious problem like stroke or tumour; hence an MRI of brain is advisable.

Its treatment includes steroids and the supportive medicines which have already been given to you. Proper physiotherapy and nerve stimulation are also recommended. Most cases show good recovery by three months, some take about a year, while a very few have no recovery. Surgery is not required. Any qualified neurologist will help you plan further management.

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