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9 months ago
Simran's Apurva Asrani has Bell's Palsy. Causes, symptoms, cure of the painful ...

Apruva Asrani is best known for being the writer of movies such as Simran and Aligarh. In a Facebook post on Monday, he spoke at length about suffering from Bell’s Palsy. He wrote, ‘Almost two months ago, I woke up with the right side of my pace completely paralysed. Fearing a stroke, I was rushed to the hospital, and after an MRI ruled that out, my condition was diagnosed as Bells Palsy—where the facial nerve is inflamed, causing loss of muscle movement.’

In 2017, actor Angelina Jolie also revealed that she had been through Bell’s Palsy. Here’s all you need to know about Bell’s Palsy.

(Shutterstock)

According to WebMD, “Bell’s palsy is a condition in which the muscles on one side of your face become weak or paralysed. It affects only one side of the face at a time, causing it to droop or become stiff on that side. It’s caused by some kind of trauma to the seventh cranial nerve. This is also called the facial nerve. Bell’s palsy can happen to anyone. But it seems to occur more often in people who have diabetes or are recovering from viral infections.”

Dr Ashok Hande, neurosurgeon, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai, elaborates on the symptoms, causes, and treatment involved:

Symptoms: “Bell’s Palsy, though not a life-threatening condition, can be quite severe. The person usually notices symptoms first thing in the morning. While brushing their teeth, they may find they are unable to move a part of the face. The person cannot smile, laugh, or talk properly – those are the usual symptoms. In certain cases, patients display additional symptoms like loss of taste, ear pain and hyperacusis (hyper sensitivity to noise), which can be painful.”

Causes: “Bell’s Palsy is caused due to viral infections. It can happen to anyone but diabetics are more prone to it because when you have diabetes, your immunology is on the lower side. You are at more risk to catch infections.”

Diagnosis: “Here, we see diagnosis by exclusion. Which means, the doctor will eliminate possibilities of other conditions which cause similar symptoms – for instance, stroke and brain tumour.”

Treatment: “Even if left untreated, the symptoms usually start lessening in a few weeks. Bell’s Palsy is treated with steroids, physiotherapy, and injections. The recovery is almost complete within three to six months.”

Effect on mental health: “Bell’s Palsy can cause a lot of distress to the patient. Especially those who work in advertisements or films, or have an active social life. Because you cannot talk properly, when you eat food, you find that you cannot chew from one side, when you drink water, it spills out from one corner. Moreover, you cannot close the eyeball properly, which makes you vulnerable to conjunctivitis.”

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