Facial droop is one of the most recognizable symptoms of Bell’s palsy. Also referred to as Facial paralysis, facial droop is the result of damage to the facial nerve or muscles. Many stroke victims also suffer from facial droop, and this is often the most emotionally difficult symptom for people to deal with.
The face is the most personal feature of a person. It is what comes to mind first when you think of someone, and it is how we recognize those we love and with whom we are familiar. When a person suffers from facial droop, how she or he is perceived is greatly affected. People often cannot get past the way their face looks, and they have a difficult time in social situations. Facial droop or paralysis can make speaking, eating, and social expressions problematic; this can make victims of facial droop feel awkward and embarrassed.
There are specific facial exercises for those with facial droop that can help deal with and overcome facial paralysis.
Laugh! Yes, laugh. Laughing uses multiple muscles in the face, and it improves blood circulation to the facial nerves. Watch a good, funny movie; spend time with loved ones and friends who bring out the giggles. Not only is laughter good for your brain and body, but it will give your face exercise to overcome facial droop.
Mouth Stretches. You may feel silly doing this, but simply opening and closing your mouth repeatedly will work the muscles of your face. Start slow, but keep doing this simple exercise for a marked improvement.
Eyebrow Stretches. Again, you may feel silly, but raising and lowering your eyebrows will improve movement and blood circulation to your forehead and around your eyes. Start by doing these movements for a few minutes twice a day, and gradually increase your repetitions.
Lip Movements. Move your lips in different directions. Move your mouth from side to side, up and down, smiling, and in a “kissing pout.” These movements will help your facial muscles regain strength, and because they are natural movements, they can help to promote reactions to the brain.
Because facial droop is a symptom of an underlying condition, it is essential to treat the cause of the symptom. At New York Facial Paralysis, Teresa O, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of facial nerve paralysis. Contact our practice today to schedule a consultation.