Bell’s palsy is a condition in which there is weakness or paralysis in the muscles that control facial expressions. That means muscles in your forehead, eye, cheek and mouth. People affected by it will show some signs and symptoms that reflect the paralysis of the affected muscles. Those who develop bell’s palsy also complain of inability to close their eyes, dryness of the eye, loss of taste sensation an inability to smile, drooling and facial distortion on the same side of the affected nerve. If you feel paralysis in your face, it may be a simple case of bell’s palsy, or it may be a more serious condition. That is why it is crucial that you visit your doctor to exclude more serious causes of paralysis like a stroke.
1. The muscles on your face become weak
12 nerves emerge from your brain one after the other. These nerves are termed “Cranial nerves.” Their job is to send information from the head and neck to the brain and vice versa. The 7th cranial nerve that emerges from the brain is called the facial nerve. As its name suggests, it is mainly concerned with the sending information from the brain to the muscles of the face and sending information regarding the different sensations of the face to the brain. When the facial nerve is affected by inflammation, the muscles of the face that it controls could suddenly become weak and may even become paralyzed. This is the main symptom of bell’s palsy.
The exact cause of this inflammation is not yet known, but many believe it is due to a viral infection because many people were affected by cold (or more specifically, an infection in the upper respiratory tract) before they developed Bell’s palsy. Diabetes is also another risk factor.