Stress Induced Bell’s Palsy

Stress is an unwanted side-effect of life. Even those who claim to have an “easy time of it,” will admit that certain situations can bring forth stress. Whether you find work stressful, family relationships stressful, or planning an event stressful – we all experience tension and anxiety in different forms.

The thing about stress is that it can lead to disease in the body. Stress can lead to irregular sleep, unhealthy eating habits, headaches or other aches and pains which lead to drug addiction, alcohol abuse, as well as bodily responses to the constant tension you are experiencing. One response to severe stress is that the body’s immune system is weakened. The weaker the body’s immune system, the less functional the body’s systems are. A weakened immunity can lead to parts of the body not functioning correctly, such as with Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy is a disruption of the function of the cranial nerve. The cranial nerve controls facial movement, and the onset of Bell’s Palsy causes facial paralysis. Bell’s Palsy typically occurs with rapid and acute onset, resulting in facial paralysis within 1-3 days. Many people mistakenly believe that the symptoms they experience indicate a stroke, but the face does not respond the same from both diseases. When a person has a stroke, he can still control the upper part of his face. Stroke patients will also show weakness in function in other areas. However, with Bell’s Palsy, the paralysis affects the entire side of the face so that he cannot lift his eyebrow, blink, or smile with half of his mouth.

Stress causes an enormous amount of pressure on the entire body. When faced with extremely stressful situations or periods in life, parts of the body will be strained. Some people suffer from emotional breakdowns, others from illness, and others find that their bodies begin to lose proper function in certain areas.

Stress induced Bell’s Palsy will typically go away, and 70% of cases will achieve full recovery within weeks to months. However, for those who continue to live a stress-filled life, symptoms can return and become permanent. It is vital that those who find themselves constantly under stress learn to manage their lifestyle. Early referral of Bell’s Palsy is warranted. Early intervention allows sufferers to prevent irreversible muscle loss. If you suffer from stress induced Bell’s Palsy, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Teresa O, New York Facial Paralysis Center

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