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Bells palsy - Research Paper Example

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Bell's palsy is a facial nerve paralysis or disorder that fails to control facial muscles. The disease has been named after Charles Bell as it was he who first described the disease, a way back, in 1821. Palsy means paralysis of facial nerve involving the seventh cranial nerve…
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Bells palsy
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Download file to see previous pages Sudden weakness that affects one side of the face causing it to droop. This is the most crucial symptom of Bell’s palsy. The difficulty arises in closing the eye of that side of the face. 2. Eye becomes dry or produces excessive tears. Sense of taste is also impacted. Bell's palsy also affects saliva production. 3. Numbness is another symptom that is found in the affected side of the face. 4. Sometimes, it pains behind the ear to the affected side of the face. 5. Difficulty in smiling, or in creating facial expressions. 6. Eating and drinking problems on the affected side of the face. 7. Twitching on the affected side of face. Causes and Risk Factors The cause of Bell’s palsy is not quite clear; however, it is believed that herpes infection may cause Bell’s palsy. Viral infection also may cause this disease. Viruses that cause diseases such as chickenpox, respiratory illnesses, rubella, mumps, flu, hand-foot-and-mouth disease may also be responsible for causing Bell's palsy. Other conditions that may be behind this disease are Lyme disease, HIV infection, Sarcoidosis, or middle ear infection. The Bell's palsy occur due to swelling of facial nerve due to any internal or external cause (PubMed Health, 2012). The people who have an upper respiratory infection often are also considered prone to the disease. Pregnant women carry risk during the last trimester and in the first week after giving birth. Statistics reveal that people in their 40s are more prone to the disease. The people with family history are prone to Bell's palsy. Bell's palsy is often a frightening experience when it occurs creating a feeling of stroke; however, stroke symptoms are much more intense unlike Bell’s palsy that usually vanishes after some time. Stroke generates symptoms such as difficulty speaking, numbness in legs and arms, severe headache and dizziness, and blurred vision. Bell's palsy may also cause difficulty in speaking but then the cause is purely muscular and nothing related to brain functioning. Bell's palsy may cause some long term complications too that may occur a few months after onset of the disease and that include permanent tightening of the facial muscles and tearing of eye during eating (PubMed Health, 2012). Diagnosis A complete physical examination may diagnose Bell’s palsy. If the condition is due to some brain tumor then MRI or CT scan may be necessary. These tests help ensure if the cause of pressure on facial nerve is tumor or skull fracture. Sometimes, balance test is done to find out if balance nerves are associated. Similarly, hearing tests become necessary if nerve damage has caused damage to inner ear or hearing mechanism. In wider complications, a lumbar puncture test involving cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is carried out so as to eliminate the possibility of autoimmune disease, meningitis or any malign growth of a tumor. Otherwise, Nerve Conduction Test and Electromyography (EMG) may identify Bell’s palsy (Wood, 2012). Nerve Conduction Test The Nerve Conduction Test is done to find the extent of nerve damage by measuring how fast signal moves through nerve. Electromyography (EMG) The test is used to determine the nerve damage and its severity by measuring the electrical activity of a muscle such as speed of conduction through stimulation. Usually, this test is employed along with Nerve Conduction Test. Epidemiology Bell's palsy is not found to show gender predilection. Female teenagers are found to be affected more but males suffer in large numbers once they cross ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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