It is about Bell's palsy or neuropathy of the facial nerve.
The Mayo Clinic website states that one symptom of Bell's palsy, also known as acute unilateral peripheral palsy, is sudden weakness of the facial muscles, which is temporary in most cases, causing half of the face to appear distorted. On the diseased half of the face, there is a drooping of the corner of the mouth. Moreover, a person cannot close one eye.
Covid-19 is known to cause a wide range of symptoms, and neurological problems are considered a complication.
According to available data, cases of paralysis of the facial nerve began to appear more often in patients with Covid-19.
Scientists from the University of Liverpool said the coronavirus could be responsible for the increased incidence of facial nerve palsy. It is important for doctors to understand whether this can become the main symptom of the disease.
In China, a 65-year-old woman was hospitalized for drooping the left side of her face. Medical examination revealed peripheral palsy of the facial nerve and also found that she was infected with the new coronavirus. The researchers said that this case indicates that patients with Covid-19 may develop hemiplegia, which will smoothly flow into facial paralysis.
A study from Japan reports a different case. A woman with Covid-19 was admitted to the hospital with facial paralysis and a lack of smell.
An article was published in the BMJ medical journal that inflammatory damage to the facial nerve that leads to peripheral facial nerve palsy is usually associated with a viral infection. Covid-19 can be the cause of the development of peripheral paralysis of the facial nerve, and neurological symptoms only indicate the manifestation of the disease. The article spoke of a pregnant woman who was diagnosed with Covid-19 by doctors after she came for an examination with a facial nerve injury.
Bell's palsy signs
Bell's palsy is facial paralysis, or severe weakness of the facial muscles on one side of the face, according to the UK's National Health Service (NHS). It should be noted that most people make a complete recovery within the first nine months.
Bell's palsy signs:
- weakness or complete paralysis of one side of the face, rapidly progressing within 72 hours;
- ptosis, or drooping of the corner of the mouth;
- involuntary salivation;
- dry mouth;
- loss of taste;
- eye irritation, such as dryness or watery eyes.
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) states that it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after these symptoms appear because treatment for Bell's palsy is more effective if started within the first 72 hours.
People with Bell's palsy also cannot close their eyes on the affected side of the face. They may need additional treatment to prevent eye damage and loss of vision.
Treatment for Bell's palsy is as follows:
- 10-day course of steroids;
- eye drops and ointment prescribed for dryness of the affected eye;
- a gauze bandage to keep your eyes closed while you sleep.
How long does Bell's palsy last?
Most people recover completely from Bell's Palsy within the first nine months, but sometimes it can take longer to heal. In a small number of people, symptoms of Bell's palsy may persist for life.
This is just general information. Doctors are still trying to figure out what complications the coronavirus can cause, including Bell's palsy, and whether they are temporary or permanent.
In conclusion, an important point must be emphasized: unlike a stroke, facial muscle weakness with Bell's palsy develops gradually. If you find a sudden distortion of your face, then you need to immediately call the emergency services, as this may indicate a stroke. The symptoms of a stroke are as follows:
- the face is skewed (the corners of the mouth or eyes are down);
- a person cannot raise his hands and keep them raised;
- difficulty or slurred speech.
Osama Abu ar-Rub