What is Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy is a neurological condition in which the seventh facial nerve is not working properly, causing paralysis of one side of your face. Onset tends to be sudden and remarkable. Most times in creates drooping of one side of your face and difficulty shutting your eye. It has been associated with stress and can upset a person’s life dramatically.
Who Gets Bell’s Palsy?
40,000 Americans get Bell’s Palsy each year, according to the National Institute of Health. Men and women are affected by Bell’s Palsy equally and it mostly affects people between the ages of 15 and 60 years old. People with Diabetes and upper respiratory infections are more susceptible to Bell’s Palsy.
What Causes Bell’s Palsy?
The facial nerve in your face is housed within a narrow space of bone from the brain to the face. In the case of Bell’s Palsy, the nerve becomes inflamed and the message from the brain to the nerve is stopped. This results in weakness or paralysis.
Does Stress Affect Bell’s Palsy?
The underlying cause of Bell’s Palsy is nerve disruption. Why that nerve disruption happens is unclear. Bell’s Palsy has been linked to viral infections that upset the facial nerve, such as herpes simplex virus and the chicken pox virus. Stress has been shown to increase the impact of the Bell’s Palsy making it worse, its persistence by preventing it from going away, and the likelihood of recurrence. Brain-based therapies help to decrease the brain pattern associated with stress, which improves brain function overall. This helps the communication between the brain and the facial nerve improve and symptoms to go away.
Can Food Sensitivities Make Bell’s Palsy Worse?
Yes, Food Sensitivities are known to increase inflammation through the central nervous system and thus the body. If you are sensitive to a particular food, it will cause inflammation. This inflammation can directly impact the inflammation in the facial nerve, causing it to remain inflamed and under pressure. The pressure contributes to the nerve malfunctioning and ultimately the Bell’s Palsy symptoms. Food Sensitivity Testing can identify the foods that are causing inflammation in your system. By reducing or eliminating those foods you can decrease the inflammation within your body and help to improve the flow of energy to your face from the brain through the facial nerve.
What are the Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy?
The symptoms of Bell’s Palsy include:
- Sudden onset of muscle weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face
- Facial droop, difficulty making facial expressions including a smile
- Inability or difficulty closing your eye
- Twitching of your face
- Pain around your jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side
- Decreased hearing on the affected side
- Decreased taste
- Decreased production of saliva and/or tears
How Can You Reduce Bell’s Palsy Symptoms Fast?
Most people recover from Bell’s Palsy with or without treatment. Many times, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes to decrease stress. The intent is to facilitate recovery and decrease the Bell’s Palsy symptoms as quickly as possible. Stress has been shown to make Bell’s Palsy worse. Neurofeedback Therapy has been FDA regulated for stress reduction and can help speed up your recovery from Bell’s Palsy. There is s neurological brain pattern associated with Stress that indicates the brain is using excessive amounts of very fast processing speed (High Beta). This pattern can negatively impact the flow of information from your brain to your body via your peripheral nerves. By improving the brain, the nerves can improve their functioning and the palsy goes away.
How is Bell’s Palsy Diagnosed?
There is no specific test for Bell’s Palsy. Your doctor will check to make sure you are not suffering from other neurological disorders that can cause facial paralysis, such as stroke, Lyme’s Disease, or brain tumors.
How Can Brain-based Therapies Help Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy is caused by a disruption in communication between the facial nerve (#7) and the brain. This disruption in nerve flow results in facial paralysis, usually on one side. This can cause a great deal of anguish for the person suffering from Bell’s Palsy. Since the cause of Bell’s Palsy is a brain-nerve disconnect, improving communication helps to alleviate Bell’s Palsy symptoms by addressing the underlying cause.
What’s the Most Effective Treatment for Bell’s Palsy?
Since Bell’s Palsy tends to go away by itself, there is no one treatment that has been proven to work best for all people. A qEEG Brain Map would show you if you have the brain pattern that is associated with Stress. This pattern could be making your Bell’s Palsy worse and make it last longer. Neurofeedback Therapy can then change the brain pattern toward a more relaxed one. When the brain is using a better neurological pattern, the flow of information from the brain to the face via the facial nerve, is improved and symptoms can be reduced. Some people use medications to deal with the symptoms of Bell’s Palsy. Food Sensitivity Testing and Gut Repair can have powerful anti-inflammatory impact on your nervous system and body. This can reduce the swelling to help the nerve in your face function better. Having a Spinal Adjustment by a Chiropractor can free the facial nerve to flow properly to your face again, helping symptoms to go away. Also, physiological therapies can help to stimulate the nerve, preventing long-term damage.
What Do I Do If I Think I Have Bell’s Palsy?
First visit your primary care physician. He or she will rule out all other causes for the facial paralysis and make sure you are not suffering from a more serious health condition, like a stroke, If you would like to speed up your recovery from Bell’s Palsy, call the professionals at Leigh Brain & Spine. The doctors can perform a comprehensive neurological assessment to evaluate your brain function and the functioning of your nerves to determine if you are a strong candidate for brain- and nerve- based therapies.
Leigh Brain and Spine is proud to have earned the distinction as a Certified Brain Health Coach Center and is a proud member of the Amen Clinics referral network.