Health Information

List of diseases

1. Bell’s palsy

Definition
Bell’s palsy occurs when the nerve that controls facial muscles on one side of your face becomes swollen or inflamed. As a result of Bell’s palsy, your face feels stiff. Half your face appears to droop, your smile is one-sided, and your eye resists closing.Bell’s palsy can affect anyone, but rarely affects people under the age of 15 or over the age of 60.
For most people, Bell’s palsy symptoms improve within a few weeks, with complete recovery in three to six months. About 10 percent will experience a recurrence of Bell’s palsy, sometimes on the other side of the face. A small number of people continue to have some Bell’s palsy signs and symptoms for life.

Symptoms :
* Rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face — occurring within hours to days — making it difficult to smile or close your eye on the affected side ,
* Facial droop and difficulty making facial expressions ,
* Pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side ,
* Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side ,
* Headache,
* A decrease in your ability to taste ,
* Changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce .

In rare cases, Bell’s palsy can affect the nerves on both sides of your face.

Cause:
The most common cause of Bell’s palsy appears to be the herpes simplex virus, which also causes cold sores and genital herpes. Other viruses that have been linked to Bell’s palsy include:
* The virus that causes chickenpox and shingles (herpes zoster)
* The virus that causes mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr)
* Another virus in the same family (cytomegalovirus)

With Bell’s palsy, the nerve that controls your facial muscles, which passes through a narrow corridor of bone on its way to your face, becomes inflamed and swollen — usually from a viral infection. Besides facial muscles, the nerve affects tears, saliva, taste and a small bone in the middle of your ear.

Complications:
Although a mild case of Bell’s palsy normally disappears within a month, recovery from a case involving total paralysis varies. Complications may include:
* Irreversible damage to your facial nerve ,
* Misdirected regrowth of nerve fibers, resulting in involuntary contraction of certain muscles when you’re trying to move others (synkinesis) — for example, when you smile, the eye on the affected side may close
* Partial or complete blindness of the eye that won’t close, due to excessive dryness and scratching of the cornea, the clear protective covering of the eye.

Tests and diagnosis
No specific laboratory test can confirm a diagnosis of Bell’s palsy. Your doctor may be able to make a preliminary diagnosis of Bell’s palsy by looking at your face and asking you to move your facial muscles by closing your eyes, lifting your brow, showing your teeth and frowning, among other movements.
Other conditions — such as a stroke, infections, Lyme disease and tumors — also may cause facial muscle weakness, mimicking Bell’s palsy. If your diagnosis is still in question, your doctor may recommend other tests, including:
* Electromyography (EMG). This test can confirm the presence of nerve damage and determine its severity. An EMG measures the electrical activity of a muscle in response to stimulation and the nature and speed of the conduction of electrical impulses along a nerve.
* Imaging scans. An X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) may be needed on occasion to eliminate other possible sources of pressure on the facial nerve, such as an infection, tumour or skull fracture.

Treatments and drugs in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda Bell’s palsy is known as “Ardit”. Symptoms of Ardit may be a part of medicated oils, local fomentation, medicated nasal drops therapy, and oral medication in the form of tablets.
Medicated oils used for local application, oral intake and nasal therapy are: Bala (Sida cordifolia) oil, Narayan (Asparagus racemosus) oil and Chandan-Bala-Laxadi oil.
Mouth wash and gargling with Luke-warm water is considered very effective in relieving symptoms.
Local medicated steam fomentation is given of decoctions of Erand mool (root of Ricinus communis), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Dashmool (Ten Herbal Roots) and Nirgundi (Vitex negundo). Dry fomentation is given by preparing a poultice (medicated packet) of wheat flour and oil.
Oral medications useful in facial paralysis are: Yograj Guggulu, Trayodashang Guggulu, Vata Vidhvansa Rasa, Sameerpannag Rasa, Brihat Vata Chintamani, Tapyadi Loha, Dashmoolarishta and Bhallatakasava. Single herbal medicines used are: Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Nirgundi, Dashmool, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) and Kuchila (Purified Strychnos nuxvomica).
Some physicians advise blood-letting from a nearby vein or by leech therapy. Courses of medicated enemas are also advised in some patients.

Diet
Milk, ghee, butter, mutton soup and black gram are advised in the diet in large quantities. It is best to avoid prolonged exposure to cold.

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