Can High Blood Pressure Cause Bell’s Palsy & Can It Heal After 2 Years?

Bell’s palsy has been associated with a chronic middle ear infection, high blood pressure, Lyme disease, diabetes, and tumor.1

High blood pressure can often result in Bell’s palsy and can cause one side of the face to droop or paralysis of the face.2

Bells palsy will recover completely, and it typically begins 2 weeks to 6 months from the onset of the symptoms.3,4

It can be puzzling and quite intimidating when you experience facial weakness. This is a typical symptom of Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is an unexplained episode of idiopathic facial palsy, is a form of temporary facial paralysis.

It happens to tens of thousands of people each year. The condition is not life-threatening, but these patients may experience severe nightmares within hours after the onset of the disease. It paralyzes the nerve that controls the muscles used to smile, blink, and smell.

Can High Blood Pressure Cause Bell’s Palsy?

Nearly 40 -45 thousand people get affected by Bell’s palsy every year. Although there is no exact cause of the condition however medical theory states the disease is triggered by facial nerve inflammation. So, anyone can get infected with this condition. Popular artists such as Angelina Jolie and George Clooney stayed out of sight for a period because of this problem.

When these celebrities shared their stories in the spotlight, people came to know that it can affect one in sixty people during their lifetime. But they are more common in diabetic, women who lately underwent prenatal or postnatal phase.1

Bell’s palsy has been associated with a chronic middle ear infection, high blood pressure, Lyme disease, diabetes, Guillain-Barré syndrome (a rare disorder in the body’s immune system attacks your nerves), and tumor. These conditions result in weakness through a varied methodology other than the typical inflammation of this syndrome. High blood pressure can often result in Bell’s palsy and can cause one side of the face to droop or paralysis of the face.2

Can Bell’s Palsy Heal After 2 Years?

Many patients who developed this condition will recover spontaneously without the requirement of any physical therapy within a few months. However, in rare cases, there are possible instances of residual effects where recovery is delayed or sometimes remains permanent. When the recovery takes longer, the residual effects are more severe.

The lasting effects can include eye problems, nasal complications, and a few others. There are two stages of recovery for patients experiencing this condition. During the initial stages, there will be no facial movement at all, and the healing involves reducing the inflammation caused by the virus.

The most common symptom noticed during this phase is, the face starts to droop, you may no longer able to close or blink your eye with increased dryness. The risk of corneal damage is very high during this stage. Hence the patients should make no hesitations in consulting an ophthalmologist. Patients recover within 3 months with appropriate practices.

However, when the recovery is delayed, you may start noticing that some areas of the face are not even moving. For instance, when you try to open or close your eye, your mouth may pull up or out to the side. This is referred to as synkinesis (a neurological symptom where voluntary movements are accompanied by involuntary movements). The condition can get worse, but it will start to come back with medications and treatment.3,4

References:

  1. “Bell’s Palsy.” Bell’s Palsy – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center, www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid=p00774.
  2. Mohney, Gillian. “Bell’s Palsy: How Serious a Condition?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 23 Oct. 573AD, www.healthline.com/health-news/how-serious-a-condition-is-bells-palsy.
  3. “Bell’s Palsy Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/patient-caregiver-education/fact-sheets/bells-palsy-fact-sheet.
  4. Team, Brain and Spine. “Bell’s Palsy: How to Recover From This Puzzling Facial Paralysis.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 20 May 2019, health.clevelandclinic.org/bells-palsy-how-to-recover-from-this-puzzling-facial-paralysis/.

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