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Why Is Diabetes A Risk Factor For Bell’s Palsy & Can Bell’s Palsy Be A Sign Of Something Else?

Facial palsy or Bell’s palsy is a type of severe weakness in the facial muscles or paralysis on a particular side of the patient’s face. Symptoms occur suddenly on one morning i.e. an individual wakes up and finds his/her one side of the face fails to move properly.(1)

Facial palsy takes place because of any type of trauma caused to the seventh cranial nerve i.e. the facial nerve. The problem commonly takes place in diabetic patients and individuals recovering from viral diseases.(2)

If you have total paralysis or weakness on a particular side of your face and if it develops within only 2days suddenly you should immediately consult your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment procedures.(3)

Why Is Diabetes A Risk Factor For Bell’s Palsy?

Research conducted in large numbers of adults suffering from diabetes has revealed a correlation between poor sugar or glycemic control and the development of face palsy or Bell’s palsy. The logic, in this case, is that when you have elevated levels of glycated hemoglobin, you will suffer from facial nerve palsy in its severe form.

Even though age is a prime risk factor related to the development of Bell’s palsy disease, diabetes is an independent risk factor to cause the problem and it is present in about 10percent of adults suffering from facial palsy. Positively, a few of the short-term improvements in glycemic control have restored facial nerve palsy and proper glycemic control has avoided the problem in most of the adults suffering from diabetes.(4)

Can Bell’s Palsy Be A Sign Of Something Else?

We can determine whether Bell’s palsy is an indication of any other problem based on its large numbers of complications in patients, especially the following long-term complications-

Drying Of Eyes And Corneal Ulceration: Drying of eyes and corneal ulceration take place whenever your eyelids become excessively weak to close properly and the protective tear film of the eyes becomes relatively less effective. This results in infection and blindness.

Facial Weakness: Permanent level of facial weakness is found in about 20percent to 30percent of people after suffering from Bell’s palsy. A few of the children have facial palsy by birth and they develop additional weakness after facial nerve injury or after surgery. Specialists working in a face palsy hospital or clinic help you in the treatment of facial weakness.

Eye Mouth Synkinesias: Eye Mouth Synkinesias takes place because of the growth of your facial nerves in any other way. This causes winking of your eyes while you smile, laugh, and eat. In some cases, the problem becomes so severe that the eye fails to close completely while having meals.

Speech Problems: Speech problems take place because of facial muscle damages. Besides, a few of the patients have to wink their eyes while they smile, laugh, or eat. In some cases, the problem becomes severe that the eyes close completely while the patient has his/her meals.

Contracture i.e. Facial Tightness: Contracture i.e. facial tightness refers to the condition, in which the facial muscles become tense permanently. This leads to facial disfigurement, for instance, the eye becomes small, the cheek becomes bulky and the line between the mouth and the nose becomes deep.

Loss Or Reduction Of Taste Sense: Loss or reduction of taste sense takes place whenever any of the damaged nerves fail to repair in the right way.(5)


Based on the aforementioned facts, we can say that diabetes is a major risk factor to cause the problem of Bell’s palsy. Moreover, according to the complications mentioned here, we can say that Bell’s palsy is an indication of many other health problems.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 24, 2020

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