Facial Nerve Problems and Bell's Palsy - Treatment

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What kinds of treatment, including medication, did you have for facial nerve problems?

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What are treatment options of facial nerve paralysis?

There are no medications specifically approved to treat Bell's palsy. Underlying medical conditions that lead to facial nerve disorder are treated specifically according to the specific condition that is responsible for the damage to the nerve. Steroid medications (corticosteroids) are the best treatment for Bell's palsy, and it is recommended that all patients be treated. The usual amount is one milligram per kilogram body weight of prednisone (or steroid alternative) per day for 7 to 14 days. Recently, antiviral medications like acyclovir (Zovirax) given in conjunction with steroids have been demonstrated to increase recovery. Doses of the antiviral agent will vary with the drug chosen.

Although physical therapy and electrotherapy probably have no significant benefit, facial exercises can help prevent contractures of affected muscles. Surgical facial nerve decompression is controversial in Bell's palsy. Some physicians recommend surgical decompression during the first two weeks in patients showing the most severe nerve degeneration; however, there can be a substantial risk of hearing loss with this surgery.

Return to Facial Nerve Problems and Bell's Palsy (Bell Palsy)

See what others are saying

Comment from: pegpat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I had an episode of Bell's palsy ten years ago on the left side of my face. I was prescribed prednisone and Valtrex. I still have numbness in my cheek and constant tearing of my eye. Lucky me, two weeks ago I got it on my right side. My tearing is not as bad this time but my paralysis is worse. They gave me prednisone again, 60 mg daily. I took it for a week then I was tapered down and then discontinued. I am scheduled for an EMG tomorrow to see if I can save the muscle. I cannot drink without a straw and have to close my lips to do this. This time my eye stays dry. I have a lot more pain this time, in the back of my ear radiating down my neck. I have constant low throbbing with sudden episodes of a stabbing pain. Hearing is extremely amplified in my right ear. Wish me luck; it has been three weeks and no changes.

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Comment from: Peter, Male (Patient) Published: July 14

When Bell's palsy struck me unexpectedly, three otherwise well qualified doctors advised me that no treatment was possible (apart from a few steroids which were useless). Four months later I found my way to an acupuncturist where, as well as exercises and massage, I experienced my first real improvement. In hindsight it is apparent to me that nerve stimulation is the answer. It is just a pity that 18 months later when I am almost recovered but still wrestling with the final stages, I was not aware of this earlier.

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