28 November 2010

Possible Causes of Bell's Palsy

Facial Paralysis occurs when the facial nerve supplying the facial muscles becomes swollen, inflamed or compressed. The exact causes of Facial Paralysis are unknown, but the most common causes are believed to be the following;

  • Viral infections e.g. Herpes Simplex, Herpes Zoster Virus or Viral Meningitis.
  • Exposure to sudden cold.
  • Chronic middle ear infection.
  • Trauma such as head injury.
  • Injury to the facial nerve caused during surgery like parotidectomy.
  • Tumors.
  • Maybe happen with patient that has high blood pressure.
  • Patients with influenza or flu-like illness, headaches.
  • Diabetic patients.

What is Bell's Palsy or Facial Paralysis?

Bell's Palsy or Idiopathic Facial Paralysis is the weakness of the facial muscles on one side due to malfunction of the cranial nerve 7(the facial nerve). It comes on suddenly and has no obvious reason. It occurs in all age groups affecting both genders but commonly on over 15 and under 60 years of age, although diabetics and pregnancy increases the risk for the females.

Bell's Palsy incident are slightly higher during cold weather or winter season.

Statistics set its worldwide frequency at just over 0.02 per cent of the population, with geographical variations - that is, one for every 5,000 people over the course of a lifetime.

* Also don't get confused with Bell's Palsy from Celebral Palsy.


You can download below the Facial Protocol in PDF format:

Physical Therapy Management for Facial Nerve Paralysis

Prepared by: 
Committee of Physical Therapy Protocols
Office of Physical Therapy Affairs
Ministry of Health – Kuwait

With collaboration of: 
Physical Therapy Department 
Kuwait University