Clearing Up Myths About Bell’s palsy

Here are some of the most common Bell’s palsy myths and the truths behind them:

Bell’s Palsy Myth: Bell’s palsy refers to every case of facial paralysis.

Bell’s Palsy Truth: Many other diseases, such as Lyme Disease, mastoiditis, strokes, and brain tumors can cause facial paralysis. The term “Bell’s palsy” is only given to people with facial weakness or paralysis with an unknown cause.

Bell’s Palsy Myth: Bell’s palsy is caused by flu shots.

Bell’s Palsy Truth: While some individuals have claimed that the onset of their Bell’s palsy was caused by a flu vaccination, there still is not any scientific proof that this is the case. One theory is that some of the antibodies triggered by vaccinations also attack normal cells, like the seventh cranial nerve (facial nerve), which produces the palsy. Ongoing research is currently being conducted to see if this is the case.

Bell’s Palsy Myth: Bell’s palsy causes diabetes.

Bell’s Palsy Truth: Although Bell’s palsy suffers have a much higher incidence of diabetes mellitus than the general population, there is absolutely no evidence that Bell’s palsy causes diabetes. A more likely answer is that diabetes itself somehow contributes to the higher occurrence of Bell’s palsy.

Bell’s Palsy Myth: All Bell’s palsy sufferers have the herpes simplex virus.

Bell’s Palsy Truth: Researchers have not been able to identify the cause of many cases of Bell’s palsy. While the herpes simplex virus is suspected of causing the swelling and inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve (facial nerve) in some people diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, not all people diagnosed with the disorder have the virus. That is why it is important to have a comprehensive treatment method that focuses on the overall wellness of an individual and the many potential causes of Bell’s palsy.

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