During the 2015 campaign the intention is to highlight the social, physical and psychological consequences of living with facial paralysis.
Charity founder Charles Nduka has been taking part in the #facemyday challenge, he says "Facial palsy goes beyond looking different, but by sporting half beards or half make-up, we are starting a dialogue about an often misunderstood condition that affects over 100,000 people in the UK."
The effects of facial palsy can be devastating, yet they are often misunderstood by health professionals, employers and the general public. Treatments are available which can greatly improve a person’s quality of life but sadly only some patients are offered them.
Understanding Bell’s Palsy:
- Bell’s Palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis, affecting up to 25000 new patients a year in the UK. It occurs when the inner ear becomes inflamed, resulting in pressure on the facial nerve. The cause is not fully understood, but links have been made to viruses, a depleted immune system and stress.
- Women in the third trimester of pregnancy are at increased risk.
- It often comes on suddenly over a number of hours. Symptoms include paralysis of one half of the face (including the forehead), causing problems with closing the eye, eating and speaking; sharp pain in the inner ear; altered sense of taste and sensitivity to loud noise.
- If Bell’s palsy is suspected, visit your GP or accident and emergency as soon as possible. Steroids need to be prescribed within 48 hours; after 72 hours, they have no effect.
- Just over 70% of sufferers make a full recovery. Improvement can occur within two to three weeks, but a full recovery can take three to six months or longer.
- In the remaining 30%, nerve damage is more severe - see a trained facial therapist to ensure the best possible recovery.
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