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This one is about: What is Bells Palsy?


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WHAT IS BELLS PALSY?

Bell's palsy is defined as an unexplained muscle paralysis or weakness. It affects the facial nerve and the persons' ability to create facial expressions such as smiling, wrinkling the forehead, winking, and closing their eyelid. In most cases, only one side is affected, but there are cases where both sides suffer together. Many people report headaches, acute hearing sensitivity, drooling, impaired speech, loss of taste (or metallic tastes) facial numbness, and facial pain. The psychological, emotional, and social impact of Bell's palsy is devastating, and many become depressed and withdrawn. Although given it's name in the 1800's by Sir Charles Bell, a Scottish surgeon and physiologist, there is still no know cause or cure for Bell's palsy.

Moebius syndrome is different in many ways from Bell's palsy. Moebius syndrome is congenital and there is significant, or sometimes complete lack of facial muscle or nerves in the facial area. Both sides are affected, leaving no possibility of expression, and potential speech problems. In addition, most are born with congenital limb deformities such as webbing or fusing. Bell's palsy on the other hand, can strike anyone at any age, and although most (75-90%) will recover completely, there are those who may suffer long-term residual or permanent paralysis. I have spoken to those who have been born with it (lack of oxygen during delivery), those who have been pregnant with it, children, teens, middle-aged, and the elderly.

There is a definite need for more information! I look forward to your referrals, and hope that we can all work together to help each others' causes!

For more information, contact Colleen Piers at the Bells Palsy Research Foundation at BellsPalsy@aol.com


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