Bell’s Palsy Coping and Support

To help you deal with the daily pain and discomfort of Bell’s palsy and to prevent complications from developing, here are some options that do not entail the use of steroids.

Protect the affected eye – For many physicians, this is the most important advice to heed when you are suffering from Bell’s palsy.  When the affected eye is unable to blink, the eye becomes irritated and dry out leading to infection and eye damage. To prevent infection, you should frequently clean and moisten your eye using non-medicated, over-the-counter artificial tears (lubricating eye drops).  When you sleep at night, you can apply some eye ointment into your lower eyelid sac. After applying the ointment, pad and tape the eyelid into a shut position for the entire night. In the daytime, wear an eye patch especially if you are in a sandy or dusty environment.

Take an analgesic – Ibuprofen, aspirin or paracetamol and other over-the-counter painkillers can help relieve pain associated with Cerebral palsy. Better yet, you can use natural painkillers like white willow bark and meadowsweet that are relatively safer than the aforementioned pharmaceutical painkillers.

Get help with a physical therapist – Some patient’s with Bell’s palsy have found that physical therapy can help treat their facial nerve.  Activities such as exercise facial massage and physical therapy can improve and/or maintain muscle tone and prevent dystrophy (shortening or shrinkage) of the paralyzed muscles.

Hydrotherapy – Pain in your facial muscles can be relieved with moist heat therapy. Relief from pain can be achieved by merely applying a hot Epsom salt compress to the problematic area of the face.  One can also apply magnesium salts to relieve muscle pain and contraction and pain. Use this compress by having a clean washcloth immersed in hot water mixed with a tablespoon of Epsom salts (in about 4 ounces of water).

Supplements – Vitamins are very important factors in improving, restoring and maintaining the health of your facial nerves. A proper level of vitamin B-12 may help better the condition of the affected facial nerves. People with vit B-12 deficiency are at high risk for neurological complications. Other supplements that can provide great benefits for patients with Bell’s palsy include zinc and vitamin B-6.

Alternative therapies – These can include biofeedback training, electrical stimulation, acupuncture, and other relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and Tai Chi. These non-drug therapies can help address Bell’s palsy.

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