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Bells palsy?

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incredulous posted 1/4/2014 14:21 PM

So, I have been diagnosed with bells palsy by a doctor at the emergency room. He prescribed a medrol dose pack (corticosteroids) and an anti-viral medicine. Several people have suggested that I should have ben given a machine to stimulate my facial nerves. I tried to call my doctor, but he's out out town and his office was no help.
Does anybody have any personal or professional experience with this?
Thank you in advance for your help.

TrustedHer posted 1/4/2014 14:36 PM

My mom had it.

There was no mention of a machine at that time.

Bell's palsy is a symptom of something else which causes inflammation. In Mom's case, it was hypertension. You've been given meds, and your face should return to normal after the inflammation is gone.

How did they know you had a viral problem?

jrc1963 posted 1/4/2014 14:47 PM

My son's father had that about 4 years ago.

He didn't use a machine of any kind that I know about... He took some meds and eventually the condition cleared up on it's own and he's never had a relapse.

purplejacket4 posted 1/4/2014 15:28 PM

The standard is a steroid and an antiviral agent. I've never heard of using a TENS unit. 95% completely resolve within two to three months. The most important thing is to protect your eye since the lid often won't close all the way without help.

nowiknow23 posted 1/4/2014 15:34 PM

((((incredulous)))) I hope you are soon on the mend, honey.

tushnurse posted 1/4/2014 16:37 PM

Use of a nerve stimulator in the early days of diagnosis is not helpful, and does not prevent long term issues. Like PJ said most people recover with no further issues.

Tens units or nerve stimulators can be used in the recovery process if your facial muscles have become so weak that you can't rehab them by doing basic expression exercises, but that is usually after completing treatment, and recovery from the acute phase.

It is usually caused from an inflammation of nerves in the ear. If you are diabetic please keep a close eye on your blood sugars because the steroids will effect that.

hope you get better soon.

cass posted 1/4/2014 16:38 PM


My daughter was diagnosed with Bells Palsy at a young age, before she was 20. Initially it was thought that she had had a stroke but this was ruled out during her stay in hospital.

It was suggested by doctors that it was connected to the chicken pox virus which was circulting at the time. She had had chicken pox as a baby and also shingles at three years old so it seemed that she was susceptible to the virus that causes these conditions.

She wasn't offered a machine but antiviral medication and made a full recovery.

It took her a few weeks to recover full control of her facial muscles and she wasn't able to wear her contact lenses at this time. Otherwise she was in good health.

Please take good care of yourself. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

broken81 posted 1/4/2014 16:53 PM

I had it a few years ago. I was given the steroids but not the antiviral meds.
I was pregnant when i got it so i had to wait til after delivery for more testing as to the extent of my nerve damage.
I do have permenant nerve damage on that side of my face, it does cause me pain pretty much daily.
Function wise within 6 months I had almost all back.
I can tell you that you will think you look worse than you do. Most people cant tell that i dont have full function back. I worried alot about it, my specialist told me that of all his patients I have the least amount of permenant paralysis.
you can google some excersises and massages for your face and the bells palsy website is pretty helpful.
I never had a machine, time is your friend. For the nerve pain I get botox and it helps alot. Double bonus I stay young looking.
you can pm if you have any questions

ETA: make sure you get and use the eye drops and gel. your eye will dry out from not closing all the way, its important.

[This message edited by broken81 at 4:54 PM, January 4th (Saturday)]

circe posted 1/4/2014 17:54 PM

My best friend had this two years ago. No facial nerve stimulator, but she had steroids and ultimately some exercises because her mouth on one side wasn't recovering as quickly as they'd like. She's never gotten full use of that side of her mouth back, but I can hardly tell and I've known her for years - strangers would never be able to tell. I'm not sure how old you are but my friend got it when she was 55, so her doctor said that might have contributed to her slightly slow mouth recovery.

Kelany posted 1/4/2014 22:49 PM

I had it while pregnant with my Second. It was a severe case. Mine lasted 4 months fully and then a few months to regain full use. I was not given meds due to my pregnancy. I have had some lasting damage.

incredulous posted 1/5/2014 09:07 AM

Thank you all so much for the information and tips. I think I have a relatively mild case, and I knew what it was even before I went to the hospital because my brother-in-law had it several years ago.
It couldn't have happened at a worse time. My 84-year old dad has been in the hospital since December 17, and just got moved to a general room after spending two weeks in intensive care. I've been spending several hours a day at the hospital, so it was ironic that I was heading back there for myself! The absurdity of it all struck me as so funny that I was laughing a lot at the hospital. Laughing felt so strange because I could tell my face wasn't moving right, so I self-consciously began laughing even more. My DD was convinced they were going to drug-test me at the hospital because I couldn't stop laughing!
I appreciate all the suggestions and reassurances. Right now it just seems like a humorous annoyance, but I'm sure I'll be a little more bothered by it if I'm still feeling like this months/years from now.

Thanks again, SI!

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