Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. When the nerve that controls your facial muscles becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed it occurs. It is thought that it is the most common cause of facial paralysis. Studies reveal that Bell’s palsy affects 15–30 individuals per 100,000 persons each year, with peak incidence mostly in the range between 20 and 40 years of age. The common sign of Bell’s palsy is a weakness or complete paralysis of muscles on one side of the face with an abrupt onset, usually within 48 hours. You may have difficulty smiling or closing your eye on the affected side. In most cases, Bell’s palsy is temporary and symptoms usually go away after a few weeks. Although Bell’s palsy can occur at any age, but most commonly it occurs among people between ages 16 and 60. “It is named after the Scottish anatomist Charles Bell, who was the first to describe the condition”. (Khan, 2018).
Sign and symptoms of Bell’s palsy can develop one to two weeks after you have a cold, ear infection, or eye infection. They usually appear abruptly, and you may notice them when you wake up in the morning or when you try to eat or drink. Due to weak muscles around the mouth, salivation increases (the production of saliva), or that impairs swallowing. They always having pain around their jaw or in or behind their ear on the affected side. Severe headache, irritation of the eye on the involved side and losing the sense of taste are also its symptoms.
Doctor will first perform a physical examination to determine the extent of the weakness in your facial muscles. They’ll also ask them questions about symptoms, including when they occurred or when you first noticed them. Doctor can also use a variety of tests to make a Bell’s palsy diagnosis. These tests may include blood tests to check for the presence of a bacterial or viral infection. They might also use an MRI or CT scan to check the nerves in their face.
As a Personal Support worker, I can instruct patient to chew on the unaffected side of his mouth. I will also Provide soft and nutritionally balanced diet. Eliminate hot fluids and foods. Moreover, Give frequent mouth care is also must. Being particularly careful to remove residues of food that collects between the cheeks and gums. Moreover, I can do the upward motion massage several times daily when the patient can tolerate the massage. Demonstrate facial exercises, such as wrinkling the forehead. Blowing out the cheeks, and whistling, in an effort to prevent muscle atrophy. The main intervention as a PSW is that that I would instruct patient to avoid exposing the face to cold and drafts.
In most cases, Bell’s palsy symptoms improve without treatment. However, it can take several weeks or months for the muscles in your face to regain their normal strength. There are some treatments which may help in recovery. They are medications and home treatments. Likewise corticosteroid drugs, antiviral or antibacterial medication, which may be prescribed if a virus or bacteria caused your Bell’s palsy, over-the-counter pain medications, eye drops. And the treatments we can do at home are an eye patch (for your dry eye, a warm, moist towel over your face to relieve pain), facial massage, physical therapy exercises to stimulate your facial muscle.