An In-Depth Discussion on Bell’s Palsy by Your Leesburg Neurology Specialist

Bell’s Palsy is a disorder that causes partial facial paralysis, usually resulting from trauma or damage to the facial nerves. With approximately 40,000 Americans affected by this disorder each year, Bell’s Palsy is something that should not be taken lightly. Many Dulles neurology specialists have done varying degrees of research about the disease and here is everything that you need to know.

Bell’s Palsy Can Affect Anyone

As mentioned before, one of the most common causes of Bell’s Palsy is damage to the facial nerves. When the facial nerves, also known as the seventh cranial nerve (CN7), are damaged or compressed, the nerve weakens and causes the paralysis.

Bell’s Palsy commonly affects men and women between 15 to 60 years old. While Bell’s Palsy can affect anyone, certain conditions can contribute to the disorder if left untreated, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High-Blood Pressure
  • Lyme Disease
  • Herpes (most specifically herpes simplex virus)

What are the Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy?

The most notable symptoms of the disorder include:

  • Loss of sensation in the face or inability to move one side of the face
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Recurring Headaches
  • Spontaneous Tearing or Drooling
  • Loss of sense of taste on two-thirds of the tongue
  • Sensitivity to sound in the ear of the affected side of the face

How is Bell’s Palsy Diagnosed?

Like most disorders, diagnosis for Bell’s Palsy is primarily based on clinical observation. One of the first signs of Bell’s Palsy is having a distorted facial appearance, or an inability to move the facial muscles of the affected side. If you encounter any of these, it is imperative that you schedule a consultation with Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, our resident neurologist in Leesburg, VA for a more thorough observation and treatment.

Diagnosis is usually conducted by a neurologist who will examine the patient’s facial movements and spot any inconsistencies that may be caused by Bell’s Palsy. In more severe cases, an MRI test is performed if there is pressure seen on the facial nerves.

Is Bell’s Palsy Temporary?

Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy usually subside within a few weeks after diagnosis. There are certain treatments available to help speed up recovery, especially when an infection or other external elements cause the disorder. Here are some of the best examples:

  • Steroid medication to help reduce signs of inflammation
  • Acyclovir, or herpes simplex medication, to help shorten the course of the disease
  • Anti-bacterial medication
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief
  • Physical therapy

While Bell’s Palsy is a serious condition, the outlook for affected people can be very much positive.

Seek Treatment as Soon as Possible!

Upon noticing the first sign of Bell’s Palsy, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Dulles neurology specialist. Under the expertise of Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, one of the most trusted neurologist in Leesburg, you will be able to manage Bell’s Palsy with no difficulties or further complications to worry about.

If you wish to schedule an appointment with Neurology Associates, call us at 726-6393, or visit our offices in Dulles and Lansdowne VA for a consultation with Dr. Dulai.