Bell’s palsy is a medical condition in which the cranial nerve that controls the facial muscle movements is inflamed or compressed. The nerve damage may be due to a viral infection. Other potential triggers include stress, preexisting autoimmune conditions, and diabetes. But in most cases of synkinesis, the cause remains unknown.
A person affected by Bell’s palsy experiences weakness and paralysis of the facial muscles. For instance, the patient may feel the loss of feeling in one part of the face, stiffness, inability to smile or close an eye, excessive drooling, etc. The other significant symptoms of the condition are:
- Altered taste
- Irritation in the eyes
- Facial muscle twitching
- Increased sensitivity to sound
How is Bell’s Palsy Treated?
Bell’s palsy is a temporary condition in most individuals. However, it can cause permanent damage and must never be self-diagnosed. Recovery can take many months, and secondary complications such as synkinesis can occur in some patients. Bell’s palsy facial exercises are an effective way to manage the condition and alleviate discomfort.
The key benefits of these exercises are:
- The exercises can be performed by anyone with the help of a facial paralysis expert.
- They are suitable for all ages as well as for people with any preexisting conditions.
- Since it is a non-invasive approach, it is 100% pain-free.
- Bell’s palsy facial exercises have delivered excellent results in the past.
- Exercises are customized to meet the specific requirements of the patient.
Five Facial Exercises for Optimal Recovery
1) Mouth Exercises
Some patients may find it hard to eat and drink normally. Some dribble and are unable to control salivation. Such stressful conditions are managed with the help of mouth exercises. Mouth exercises involve the tongue and lips. First, start by opening your mouth and closing it slowly. Repeat the exercise multiple times and combine frowning practice with it.
Second, pucker your lips slightly as if you are trying to relax them from the stress. The third exercise involves lifting the corners of your mouth slowly with the help of your fingers. Lift each corner individually and do not apply too much force. Finally, put out your tongue slowly. Now point the tongue towards your chin. These simple exercises are repeated as instructed by the facial exercise expert.
2) Eye Exercises
To regain better control over the muscles surrounding the eyes, follow the below exercises.
- Keep your head and neck straight. Now use only your eyes and eyelids to look down. The exercise helps people who have difficulty closing their eyelids.
- Try to wide open your eyes without using your eyebrows. Stop when you feel any uncomfortable facial muscle movement.
- Gently wink using one eye at a time. Do not exert pressure on the affected eye.
- Slowly place one finger on your closed eye. Now use the other hand to stretch your eyebrows upward. The exercise relaxes your eyelids and helps to sleep better.
3) Lip and Cheek Relaxation Exercises
The affected muscles show limited movement. Relaxing these muscles can speed recovery.
- Snarling can stretch your lips and thus aid in relaxation.
- Smile without showing your teeth. Do not involve your eyelids.
- Fill your mouth with air. And puff out your cheeks. Hold the position for some time before you release all the air.
- Try speaking activities. Speak in front of the mirror and ensure your lips and cheeks move well as you practice certain letters.
4) Nose Exercises
Stiffness along the nose and upper part of the cheeks can significantly impact facial muscle movement. Bell’s palsy facial exercises for the nose include,
- Wrinkle up the nose gently.
- Use your fingers to massage the nose gently.
- Blow air out through your mouth multiple times and observe how your affected nose works.
- Take a deep breath and flare your nostrils.
5) Eyebrows and Chin Exercises
First, make a frowning face to bring your eyebrows close to one another. Second, use your fingertips to stroke the affected eyebrow gently. You may also try to raise your eyebrows and hold them for a few seconds. Repeat the exercise as advised.
Wrinkle your chin and hold it up. Repeat as required. Try to stick out your chin like a boxer. Stretching your neck may also improve chin flexibility.
The Bottom Line
No two individuals affected by Bell’s palsy are the same. While you may be tempted to practice the facial exercises at home and expect quick results, it is highly recommended to seek professional advice before you take the plunge. Facial exercise experts ensure that your exercise regime is carefully catered to meet your specific needs as well as the required safety standards.