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Ailments » Bells Palsy
What Is It?
Bell's Palsy is facial paralysis, normally affecting one side of the face - In most cases (approx 80%) the condition recedes after 3 months though for a proportion of sufferers the symptoms can continue for longer and in extreme cases indefinetely.
Most patients suspect they have suffered a stroke when first faced by it's effect and a visit to the doctor helps alleviate their fears.
Symptoms normally include; a drooping or sagging mouth, facial pain, drooling, loss of taste, inability to close the eye, resulting in tearing and the need to wear an eye patch
How common is Bell's palsy ?
About 1/4000 persons per year develop Bell's palsy. The incidence increases slightly with age. There are only minor differences in rates between the sexes and among persons of different race. There is a slightly higher incidence in the winter.
Bells palsy has numerous potential causes. It is presently thought that most cases arise from herpes simplex virus infections (the same one that gives you cold sores in your mouth as well as other variants). However, there are a wide variety of other possibilities including diabetes, sarcoid, HIV infection, and various cancers.
Does Electrical stimulation (EMS) help?
Electrical stimulation can help patients with long-term Bells' Palsy
The itouch Tone is an ideal stimulator for treatment of Bells Palsy. Research has shown that a setting of 2Hz/90uS/6sec work/6sec rest is effective. Electrodes must be small and positioned to activate only the affected muscles.