I'm suffering from bells palsy, is there any treatment for it?
Bell’s palsy is when one side of the facial muscles do not work. It is caused by damage to the nerve that controls these muscles. It happens for no apparent reason and, when no cause is found, it is called Bell’s palsy. If a cause is found (such as Lyme disease) it would not be called Bell’s palsy. It often happens suddenly. Luckily 3 out of 4 people start to get better within 3 weeks, without any treatment.
Treatment with steroids have been shown to help recovery slightly but should be started early (within 72 hours of onset) if possible. In the past doctors have also given a course of antivirals tablets (as well as steroids), in case a virus is involved. There is conflicting evidence that antiviral medications significantly help recovery. You should discuss these treatment options with your doctor.
Eye drops and wearing an eye patch at night will help prevent your eye getting dry. If you do not start to show signs of recovery in the first few weeks you may benefit from physiotherapy to help exercise the face muscles.
Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.
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