Have you had Botox treatment for facial palsy?

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I’ve had palsy for 10 months now. It started with facial shingles and then 3 days later the palsy started. It took a week for it to completely set in, and was acute. I could not talk easily, eat very little, drink through straws and tape my eye down every night to sleep. It has been an awful recovery, but I am pleased I am a lot better now. I still have problems however and am under a specialist clinic.EG I still cannot close my eye for more than 20 seconds, I still dribble and cannot seal my mouth. The pain continues in my head, I have sores still inside my out from misalignment etc. My speech is sometimes affected too.

Recently, the specialist advised me to start to have Botox treatment to help the pain in my head and aid the physio I am doing . It has helped the pain, but in the process it has made my synkensis worse. I wasn’t warned about it. I now close my eye when I eat and drink. It causes pain too. My mouth has also gone back in recovery terms about 3 months. 

What side effects have have you experienced with this treatment. I am at the start of it, with more scheduled over the next year or so apparently, so you can understand my concern. What else is available for tricky cases in terms of treatment? 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    i had several botex injections over several months.  I had no side effects from the injections except for what they were designed to do.  I quit them after about a year.  I never had any pain so I was lucky.  I still dribble a little sometimes if I'm not paying attention.  My BP has been 4 years now so I don't expect any more recovery.  I still massage my face but I'm not diligent about it.    

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon,

      thanks for your feedback. Did the Botox injections help you to improve your symptons of palsy? I suppose I am asking , should I be patient and get potential better results long term?

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    • Posted

      The botox helped mainly with the twitching or synkenysis, if you have that.  Otherwise a plastic surgeon can make your face look more normal by using the botox on the oposite side.  But, it doesn't last. 

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    • Posted

      The main problems for me are synkensis and pain. There is some symmetry issues. Some areas of my face have improved a lot, but then there are others that are still bad. The synkensis has got worse since the Botox. 

      Think I should just stick with it, but the physio has told me not to perform some of the exercises for my eye, due to deteriorating symptoms . I am hoping my physio will get me back to the plastic surgeon to try and improve things. Even if it’s temporary, it will give me a bit of relief. thanks for your insight.

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  • Posted

    Is it correct that you are seeing a physical therapist specializing in Bells PALSY?  It is a  specialty that needs special training.  What do you mean by eye exercises?  I do gentle massage on my affected side.You don't want to be too agressive.  I cannot raise my eyebrow or forehead.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon, im seeing a physiotherapist who specialises in bells. They are in turn linked under the clinic umbrella with plastic surgeons and psychologist. I’ve had video / photos done too to track progress., all in the same hospital. 

      The exercises I have been given are to try to combat the synkensis symptoms and also massage to stretch taut facial muscles, which is quite an extensive individual program.are you under specialists?

      i too cannot raise my forehead or eyebrow. I could frown a bit prior to the Botox , but now that area has been treated, it limits it. It’s all a bit frustrating isn’t it!?

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    • Posted

      I saw a physical therapist in the beginning of my disease.  That was 4 YEARS ago.  I have never fully recovered.  I am stuck with this.  I was at an eye Dr. last week for vision changes, unrelated to Bells.  He asked why I was closing my eye when we talked.  I said "it is called Bells Palsy."  He obviously never reviewed my chart before entering the room.  

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    • Posted

      Did the physical therapist help you recover ? Did they give you a % improvement? From what I am being told by the consultant, I gather that overall recovery is scaled on a % basis. I am apparently 75% recovered, but they tell me I could get to 90%. No guarantees though.

       

      How badly affected are you after 4 yrs? It must be tough for you.

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    • Posted

      The physical therapy helped but I continue it occasionally.  There are some  exercises on the internet that you can do.  My face straightened out and my 2 eyes function differently.  Crooked smile.
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  • Posted

    Don't think Botox is a good idea,everyones palsy is different and i found if you havent experienced it you just cant treat it.When i eat my eye closes and thats one year later.I found stress seems to be the common denominator in all our bells.Chilling out and stress free activities helps.Brushing the bells side with a babys hairbrush is my latest thing and its strangely working.Singing helps with the speech.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lorna,

      thanks for thr info. I will try singing! On my own, however, as I will be laughed at! My bells is a result of acute facial shingles. Technically I have Ramsey Hunt Sydrome, but as you know many in the medical profession don’t even know about Bells, yet alone RHS. I was only diagnosed by a neurologist, 2 months after onset. I am on a immune system modifying drug for another health condition, which may have contributed apparently. 

      I think stress definitely affects my recovery. I had a really stressful period in the summer , and it set me back a month or more. 

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