Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Bell’s Palsy & How Is It Transmitted?

Relaxation techniques, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, or biofeedback training may help.(1) It most commonly occurs in people between ages 15 and 60.[1] Males and females are affected equally.(2)

Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Bell’s Palsy?

Bell’s palsy is a medical condition whose cause is idiopathic and the mechanism is explained by the impinging of the facial nerve which is also the 7th cranial nerve originating from pons and supplies all the muscles of the face. In most of the theories, its cause is predicted to be viral but none of the research proves it completely.

But there is enough data available which is against the theory of its origin from a psychological cause. It is not a psychological condition but an organic one with a responsible physical dimension to it. It cannot be caused by psychological factors like lack of sleep, depression, etc. as there is no such evidence to support this causation.

But on the other note, it has been found in the studies that Bell’s palsy can be one of the causes for lack of sleep. It is because there is a lot of uneasiness, drooling of saliva, inability to close eyes and mouth, etc. experienced by the patient which can affect the sleep cycle. It also can cause a lot of other psychological symptoms because it is a chronic condition and takes time to recover which may result in loss of patience, depression, anxiety, anger, etc. and it also attached to stigma in society(3).

How Is Bell’s Palsy Transmitted?

Bell’s palsy is itself a non-contagious condition because occurs due to the inflammatory response of the nervous tissue to a viral infection not directly due to infection(4). Also, the site for the infection is located deep inside the ear (internal ear usually) and is not spread by any mode of transmission. So, one thing to be clear that there is no risk while going near to a patient suffering from Bell’s palsy.

But the organism responsible for the inflammatory response in this condition is located in the body of the patient and is contagious. It is known as the herpes virus and is spread via close contact especially mucous membrane contact such as sexual intercourse, kissing, licking, oral sex, etc. The risk is more in which there is a possibility of damage to the mucous membrane like anal sex, homosexual relationships, etc. It can also occur via blood to blood contact like the use of the same needles in drug abusers, via blood transfusion sometimes, etc.(5)

However, it has to be understood that it is not spread by skin to skin contact like hugging, handshake, etc. It is very necessary to create awareness among the people about the transmission of this virus to take adequate preventive measures but at the same time, it is also important to reduce the social stigma attached to it.

Conclusion

Being an organic disease, Bell’s palsy is not caused by any psychological causes instead in all the theories, it is predicted to be caused by a viral response. However, it can cause a lot of psychiatric symptoms itself vice versa because it is a chronic condition. Lack of sleep and disturbance in the sleep cycle is one of its symptoms and not a cause.

Bell’s palsy also known as idiopathic facial palsy is not a contagious condition by itself because it is an inflammatory response. However, the condition carries a viral response for a virus as the most common risk factor which is very contagious. It can get transmitted by various routes and can remain in the body for a long period.

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