Quite often Bell’s palsy sufferers refer to Bell’s palsy as a disease. We may hear: “I have this disease for almost 8 years” or “I am suffering from Bell’s palsy since I was 20”.
Indeed, Bell’s palsy residuals and its complications can remain present for a very long time: for years or even a whole lifetime. They can have a dramatic effect on our quality of life. They may damage the self-esteem, jeopardize one’s social life and even force to change the career.
Bell’s palsy is a functional disorder
Bell’s palsy is NOT a disease. It is rather an acute functional disorder. Cancer, heart disease and diabetes – are all system diseases. They involve the whole body and develop slowly. Bell’s palsy involves only one single nerve – the facial nerve, and most of the time, happens suddenly. What we experience for many years after the onset is not the Bell’s palsy itself – it is only its complications and residuals.
Bell’s palsy is like a broken leg
One can compare Bell’s palsy with a broken leg – it happens suddenly and it needs time to heal. It can also heal wrongly if treated improperly, or if the body does not have the power to repair the damages.
You cannot have a broken leg for a lifetime. What you can experience is its consequences and possible complications. Same with Bell’s palsy: it is finished once the first facial movements begin to return. From that moment on, you are in a recovery period. If the recovery takes a long time, almost inevitably, the complications will develop. That is what you have after 1 or more years since your Bell’s palsy onset.
What complications and residuals may develop after Bell’s palsy?
The residuals and possible complications of Bell’s palsy are numerous:
- The weakness of facial muscles
- Facial asymmetry (with or without mimetic movements)
- Pathological synkinesis (involuntary movements of facial muscles during speech, smiling, blinking)
- Contractures of facial muscles (smaller eye, deeper nasolabial fold, dimple on the chin)
- Mass movements during speech and emotions
- “Crocodile tears” (excessive tearing) or lack of tears
- Pain in various spots and areas. Most often it is the face, back of the neck, behind the ear, surface of the head (scalp)
- Stiffness of facial muscles, tiredness, increased asymmetry by the end of the day and after experiencing strong emotions
The main question for every long-term Bell’s palsy sufferer remains: how to get rid of those complications for good and whether it is at all possible? In short – yes, in most cases it is possible. To answer what are the possibilities of recovery in your specific case, we need to take a look at your recovery history and current condition. We do that in our Online Diagnostic Session.
– Alex Pashov
Crystal Touch Bell’s palsy clinic