Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy

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Was sipping coffee through a straw when I realized I was feeling loss of feeling on my left side of face. It came out of nowhere. I'm 46 yrs old and in decent shape.

I went immediately to the hospital in Ft Myers, FL and was seen and diagnosed within 2 mins. ER Dr was amazing and staff of 5 in case I was stroking out.

Had cold few weeks ago which may be contributing factor. Mine appears to be mild case with all symptoms, drooping eye, loss of smile, watery eyes which is the worse .

Dr said being treated right.away is good start to rercovery. Was given prednisone steroids and Valtrex which is used for herpes which scared me. Dr assured that wasn't the case but medicine has same use to fight viral infection.

This is scary for me and reading others stories gives me hope that time and patience will lead to a recovery. Was given 7 days of viral meds and 5 days of steroids. Eye watering seems to be the worst. Eating and drinking are difficult. We take normal things for granted. I'm single and date casual so now this has affected me mentally. Friends say they can tell but nothing too drastic. I'm scared and hope I regain control of my left side.

Anyone with stories of hope or insight to recovery please respond.

John

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  • Posted

    It's scary but you are on the right track with what little treatment is available.  It just takes time to heal.   Patch your eye at night until it can close all the way.  It's a waiting game.  Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Sharon for your reply and advice. I'm at eye Dr now, good news still 20/20 20/25 vision. Wateringeyes not a help. I'm so scared and hope this goes away faster then normal.

      It's good to hear other people's stories. I feel like a freak

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  • Posted

    Thank you Sharon for your reply and advice. I'm at eye Dr now, good news still 20/20 20/25 vision. Wateringeyes not a help. I'm so scared and hope this goes away faster then normal.

    It's good to hear other people's stories. I feel like a freak

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  • Posted

    Watering eyes may continue the longest.  I think everyone has that problem.  If you read other patients on this site, we are all in the same boat.  I don't think vision is usually affected, just protect the cornea with eye patch at night so you don't scratch it.  Looking lopsided also may continue weeks or months.  This doesn't go away over night.

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  • Posted

    Hi John,

    If you've read through the other threads I'm sure you've seen I've been quite active in this discussion. I just recovered from my second round of bells palsy about 7 months ago. My first episode happened in 2010. Just like you I could feel it happening. I could feel my smile was off. Went to the ER and they immediately diagnosed me with Bell's Palsy (right side) and prescribed steroids. Luckily for me symptoms subsided as I tapered through the steroids. Reached full recovery in 3 weeks. For years my right eye would occasionally twitch uncontrollably. 7 years later I got Bell's Palsy again. This time the left side and just two days after having a dental procedure (extraction with bone graft - right side). I found it strange that the side that was affected with Bell's Palsy was not the same side I just had the procedure done. I immediately followed up with my doctor and told her I believe it was Bell's Palsy again. She confirmed and was puzzled when I said I had it 7 years ago on the other side. She says typically when it reoccurs it happens on the same side. 

    I am attaching a link to my thread with updates on my recovery. I hope it helps!

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/2nd-bell-s-palsy-episode-590966

    I wish you a speedy recovery like my first episode was. I know every situation is different but I'm here to answers any questions.

     

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    • Posted

      I was prescribed 5 days of prednisone both times. I think that's standard. First episode I was only given steroids, no antivirals. First episode only lasted about 2 weeks. 2nd episode I was prescribed steroids and antivirals, took about a month to recover.

      Doctors told me they don't normally prescribe additional doses of medications. After doing some research, there isn't really much scientific information that shows antivirals even do anything.

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    • Posted

      I hear you. It’s tough. From the sounds of it, it seems like you have a mild case. If you’re like me you should start seeing improvement by week two. Wishing you a speedy recovery!
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    • Posted

      Can you raise your eyebrow at all on the affected side? Does your eye close? Certainly sounds mild which is good!

      From what I’ve read, they don’t recommend facial exercises as it can make matters worse. I didn’t listen much.  I used a warm gel pack religiously and lightly massaged my cheek few times a day. 

      They also say there’s no science behind acupuncture as a treatment but I could certainly feel movement when they did the electro stimulus and that was within the first week. Felt like a twitching feeling and any movement was better than nothing. I still have residual eye twitching. Not sure if others have had that response but it’s been consistent with both episodes. 

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    • Posted

      Eyebrow raises some, eye closes and is barely under lid. Eye Dr said is better than most.

      I was gonna use warm pack to and massage.

      Never thought this would happen ever.

      Thank you for helping and all ur insight

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    • Posted

      That’s really good! Only partial paralysis. I have faith your recovery should be pretty quick. 

      I know exactly how you feel. The first time it happened to me I had never even heard of it and was so worried i’d be like that forever. Thankfully it was only partial paralysis and saw signs of recovery by week two. I’m glad there is this thread. I never found it 7 years ago when I had it for the first time so could not read up on other people’s experiences. I’m glad this has helped and hopefully you’re less worried. Keep your head up! 

      It’d be great if you could post your recovery for others who will go through the same thing. I did and hope it has/will help others.

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    • Posted

      Well it's day 5 and waking up to no miracle. Still the same. I appreciate your replies, concern and hope.

      Found out a cousin had it and it lasted for 45days.

      A friend of mine ex husband had it and she says mine is no where near as bad which gives me some light ahead. But I know there is no for sure. She said mine is about a 4 out 10 and isnt bad. Either way I can't eat or drink right or smile. I love to smile. My friends and family know im a prankster and laugh alot.

      The mental breakdown of this is a huge effect. I'm no Brad Pitt but feel stupid now with facial expression.

      Did you do facial exercises in mirror?

      Once again thanks for your help just want to do everything right with this. .got 2 days of viral meds meds and 1 day of prednisone.

      John

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    • Posted

      Hi Alexis, I started this thread 3 1/2 years ago.  I'm glad you have found this helpful.  It's amazing that everyone feels the same about being seen in public.  My BP was 3 1/2 years ago and my recovering wasn't complete.  People still stare, I feel, at me.  I have had 3 surgeries on my eye so it does look better but I can't smile decent and can't lift my eyebrow.  The only Dr. advice that I have received was to keep massaging.

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    • Posted

      I hear you. I first got it two weeks before I graduated high school. So being in school still was tough especially worrying I’d still be paralyzed when I graduated. This second time was not too long after I started a new job. It definitely breaks you down mentally. Be happy your case is mild. 

      I didn’t do too many exercises. Many once a day to see if there was any movement. Recovery typically isn’t sudden rather progressive. I’m sure you will notice slight changes. Yes the smile and eating/drinking is extremely difficult.  B vitamins are great for nervous system help. No science that shows they can resolve the problem but certainly good overall. I wish I documented my first episode as it sounds so much like yours

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon, thanks so much for starting this thread! As soon as I found it second time around I read through everyone’s story and felt it would be beneficially to document my recovery.

      I’m sorry yours has lasted so long. I worry because I’ve had it twice at young ages 17 and 25 that I may get it a 3rd time somewhere down the road. They say it can happen during pregnancy. Did they diagnose you with synkinesis?

      With both episode I’ve consistently had eye twitching that would last minutes. Continued for years even up until my second episode. Since recovery I now have twitches on the most recent side often. I’m sure this is a residual thing but haven’t read about others with this issue.

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    • Posted

      Drs. have said I have a twitch but you have to look hard and long to see it.  It doesn't bother me but you can have botox for it.  I did that in the beginning but you have to repeat the botox often.  Botox doesn't cure it. 

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