Bell’s palsy i.e. facial palsy refers to the condition, which leads to paralysis or a temporary level of muscular weakness in the face. The problem takes place whenever the nerves responsible to control facial muscles inflame, compress, or swell.(1)
The symptoms of facial palsy or Bell’s palsy are sudden weakness in the facial nerve or muscles. Weakness in most of the cases is of temporary and improves with weeks. However, weakness leads to drooping of a specific part of your face. Accordingly, your smile becomes one-sided and the eye on the respective side resists closing.(2)
Even though doctors and neurologists do not know the underlying cause of the problem, they said that dysfunction of facial i.e. cranial nerve is the prime reason behind Bell’s palsy. Other risk factors of the problem of facial palsy are pregnancy, infection in the upper respiratory tract, and diabetes.(3)
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Bell’s Palsy?
However, the disease also involves a few of the additional risk factors, like for instance hypoxia-induced edema combined with the deficiency of Vitamin D.
We have got justification for vitamin D deficiency to cause Bell’s palsy based on the intracranial calcification method. However, we do not get any proof of calcification across the intracranial face nerve from the neuro-imaging procedure.(4)
What Can A Neurologist Do For Bell’s Palsy?
Your neurologists will recommend you to undergo diagnosis according to your underlying symptoms. The problem is that symptoms of facial paralysis resemble Lyme disease, sarcoidosis, and stroke. For ruling out the respective causes, you have to go through the following tests or diagnostic procedures-
- Blood tests to rule out the conditions of sarcoidosis and Lyme disease
- EMG i.e. electromyography test to measure various activities and damages done by facial nerves, which help your neurologists to predict your quick recovery
- Computed tomography or Magnetic resonance imaging scans to identify stroke and other causes related to nerve damages.(5)
Your neurologists will recommend the right treatment protocol for your facial palsy condition according to your medical profile and severity of symptoms. These are as follows-
Eye Care To Avoid Dryness Of Eyes During Nighttime: If you experience the problem of eyes’ dryness during the nighttime or while working at a laptop/computer, your neurologists will recommend for the protection of eyes i.e. eye care methods. These are the application of ointment during bedtime, eye drops during daytime, and moisture chamber during nighttime. Each of these steps protects your eye cornea from scratching and it is very much essential for Bell’s palsy management. Along with this, doctors recommend you a few of the additional treatment options, which are-
- Acyclovir or any other similar type of antiviral medicine
- Moist heat or analgesics to help in relieving the pain
- Steroid medicines to reduce the problem of inflammation
- Physical therapy treatment for stimulating the facial nerve
Depending on the condition, neurologists may even refer their patients to therapists, who provide alternative therapies to treat facial palsy or Bell’s palsy. These include the following-
- Biofeedback training
- Electrical stimulation
- Vitamin therapy, like Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and the mineral of zinc (6)
Yes, vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor associated with the problem of facial palsy i.e. Bell’s palsy condition. On the other side, if we talk about the role of neurologists to cure your condition, they recommend you undergoing certain diagnostic procedures or tests to rule out other conditions. Later on, your neurologist will recommend a variety of treatment procedures to treat your Bell’s palsy condition. Depending on the condition, neurologists may even recommend their patients to therapists.
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