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Bells Palsy

(20 Posts)
mckenzie Wed 05-Sep-07 21:11:01

Apparently, I have Bells Palsy. I'd love to hear from anyone who has ever had this as it's a bit weird and I guess I'm feeling a bit nervous about it.


brimfull Wed 05-Sep-07 21:15:47

my friend had this,she got some steroids from gp I think and it was mostly gone in a few weeks .It iproved a lot in the first week and was hardly noticeable in the second. Apparently the fact she got treatment fairly quickly helped witht the speedy recovery.

Hope you recover soon.

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Sep-07 21:15:48

My brother and cousin both had it and both recovered after about 6-9 months. Doctors told me there was no genetic link but I remain sceptical (and a bit scared).

How has it affected you?

mckenzie Wed 05-Sep-07 21:33:35

I think I only have it mildly, based on seeing a friend of a friend with it some years ago. The side of my face just above my lip is raised, the eye on the same side looks smaller than the other eye, it feels strange, very strange. And when I was reading to DD tonight, I wasn't able to talk normally some of the time, I think it was certain letter formations that I was struggling with.

I was particularly wondering if it is normal for it to come and go. Sometimes it can look and feel very strange and then other times it relaxes a bit and although it still looks odd, is nowhere near as noticeable.

Milliways Wed 05-Sep-07 22:07:34

My DS had this when he was only 4

I was soooo scared - thought he'd had a stroke.

It actually started to resolve very slightly after a week (got small movement back) and almost completely gone after 2 weeks.

For about 2 years afterwards, if he got tired he leered a bit! Had to tell teachers he wasn't pulling faces.

We had to put drops in his eye and tape it shut at night to stop it drying out, and he saw The Opthamologist, ENT & Paeds specialist to make sure no lasting effects anywhere. They really looked after him. Hope you get the same gold star treatment.

BTW, he is now 12 and no troubles at all (apart from being a 12 year old boy!!)

Milliways Wed 05-Sep-07 22:10:54

Sorry, 2 years sounds terrible, it was a tiny drop first thing in morning, prob for a year, that his paranoid mother only would have spotted.

His came on in a day, slowly freezing his left side until his eye was staring (couldn't blink at all) and mouth couldn't move. If he smiled, only got creases on half his forehead! SO sounds a little worse than yours is.

madmumNika Wed 05-Sep-07 22:10:56

I had this when I was 16. GP gave me meds (steroids I think) and it cleared up after a few weeks. To this day I notice a slight difference on the right side of my face but no one else notices. In my case it was caused, bizarrely, by sleeping next to an open window- I usually sleep on my left and so my right cheek bone was exposed to cold air overnight frequently which caused the facial nerve to 'freeze'! Apparently lorry drivers get it quite a bit from driving with their window open in cool weather! Hope it improves soon xxx

mckenzie Thu 06-Sep-07 08:33:54

thanks for the replies. It feels worse today but is that because I'm allowing myself to think about it too much (on mumsnet before the school run, that's how ahead of myself I am today!!)
Perhaps once the day gets going i won't have so much time to think about it so it won't feel as bad.
GP did mention steroids but I said I'd rather wait and see if it settles on it's own, as it's quite mild and I'm not dribbling my food everywhere when i try and eat smile... yet!

mckenzie Thu 06-Sep-07 08:34:34

Milliways - I can only imagine how you must have felt seeing your 4 year old with it sad. I was scared enough for myself.

Tiggiwinkle Thu 06-Sep-07 10:04:19

I had this some years ago-I was treated with an initially large dose of steroids, gradually reducing over several weeks. I also still notice a very slight weakness on the affected side.

southeastastra Thu 06-Sep-07 10:07:02

my dp had this last year (i started a thread with the same title as yours) it was very helpful. i'll try to find if you like?

bizarre this should come up today as he's seeing the dr at the moment. his left eye still hasn't recovered totally, though he had bp last november.

he always thought he looked awful, but it didn't look that bad to me.

westerngirl Thu 06-Sep-07 10:50:26


I had this about two years ago. It was really strange having half your face frozen. It cleared up by itself in a couple of weeks.

It's viral isn't it? Can't remember if it's the chicken pox virus or the herpes simplex virus (cold sore one).

You'll really value your nomal facial expressions when it clears up.

Take care.

mckenzie Fri 14-Sep-07 07:57:55

hi again

a question please (or 2) for madmumNika, Tiggiwinkle, westerngirl and anyone else who has had this.

Did you find it was worse first thing in the morning when you woke up? Did anything trigger it to make it worse or was it always the same until it started to get better?


deepbreath Fri 14-Sep-07 13:38:02

Hi mckenzie,

I had several bouts of Bells palsy. It started in August last year.

I found that I was worse when I was tired or stressed. Mine even seemed to flare up around that time of the month too. They say to just be good to yourself and rest until the paralysis goes. Recovery rates vary massively from person to person.

Eyecare is very important with Bells Palsy. I was able to blink, but ended up with a very sore, dry eye because I think it came open when I was asleep!

If you find that you're sensitive to noise on your affected side, pop an earplug in the ear that side to muffle the sound a bit (my dc's were 3 & 4 at the time, so I found this really helpful!)

mckenzie Fri 14-Sep-07 19:24:31

thanks very much for the reply deepbreath. I find that mine is worse when i first get up in the morning which is surely when I am most relaxed. Or maybe not as I will always have been woken up by one of the DCs so perhaps the stress comes on straight away smile. I also have to really work hard to get my eye to open, rather than it staying open by itself. Thankfully I don't seem to be having any problems with my ears although I did have a strange sensation in my ear about 3 days before the Bells palsy appeared which apparently is quite common.
I'm having weekly relexology now to try and de-stress me a little and I'm making an effort to slow down a bit but it's not really in my nature. I'm very much a 'get up and go' and 'done that now what can I do next' type of person.
Never mind, I really only have it mildly so I'm not complaining.

cece Fri 14-Sep-07 19:31:41

I had it about 6 years ago while prgenant with dd.

Agree about eye care. I had an eye patch as my eye wouldn't close/blink so had to keep it shut to avoid dryness.

Mine took about a month to go enough to funstion OK and about another 2-3 months before I felt it had gone completely..

My friend's DP still has some paralysis, but think it is unusual for it to be a permanent thing.

southeatsastras Fri 14-Sep-07 19:32:52

my dp has been referred to a neurologist for it. has anyone else? i wonder what they're looking for

cece Fri 14-Sep-07 19:36:00

not sure. I only saw GP once when first diagnosed and then once a week for first two or three weeks so she could sign me off work.

My GP didn't give me steroids as she said there was no research to suggest that they actually improved the outcome. Lucky really as I was already pg and didn't know it at the time...

mckenzie Fri 14-Sep-07 20:15:50

I saw a neurologist yesterday southeatsastras but I think mainly because I also have a lot of numbness in my left leg (the Bells Palsy is on the right hand side). He is sending me for a brain scan though because some of the symptoms I have are contradictive to Bells Palsy (for example the eye not opening properly) and also because my level of prolactin is too high. I don't think they are linked at all, I think it's just a coincidence but he said we might as well get it checked at the same time (prolactin is in the pituatary gland which is at the base of the brain, or at least it is if I have remembered correctly smile)
Hope your DH gets on okay.

southeatsastras Fri 14-Sep-07 20:22:40

thanks you too

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