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12 Jul 2005

Ear infection and Bells Palsy
My boyfreind (37yrs) developed an ear infection about two weeks ago. he eventually went to see a doctor when one side of his face started becoming paralysed. He was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. Given antibiotics and Advil CS. He is still in pain a week later and his face is not close to getting better. What can he do and how long will it take to heal.? Will the paralysis go away? I am concerned about him because he is getting frustrated.
He has blurred vision in one eye and he cant hear that well. Will it stay that way even once he has healed. What can he do to prevent going blind or deaf
Answer 26,011 views
Expert
CyberDoc
CyberDoc

01 Jan 0001

Kim, I can’t guarantee that the right diagnosis was made, but if it is Bell’s Palsy he should be OK. The fact that his hearing and vision are affected might be a sign of something more serious, so getting a second opinion from a neurologist if it doesn’t improve soon, isn’t a bad idea. The following is some more info from something I wrote on Bell’s palsy. Good luck.
Bell’s palsy is a disorder which patients (and their loved ones) often confuse with a stroke. It is a paralysis that affects only one side of the face; it starts suddenly and without any prior warning signs and the cause has yet to be found. Unlike a stroke, most people recover completely and never suffer from it again.

It is presumed that swelling of the facial nerve, due to immune or viral disease, causes Bell’s palsy. Pain behind the ear may precede the facial weakness that may develop within hours and that may progress to total paralysis over the following day or so. The involved side is flat and expressionless, but patients frequently complain about the seemingly twisted intact side. In severe cases, the person loses the ability to even close the eyelids. Although the function of the muscles on the affected side may be severely decreased, the sensation stays more or less intact. Sometimes salivation, taste and tear secretion is affected.

The treatment of Bell’s palsy is controversial. 60% of cases recover completely without treatment, presumably because the lesion is so mild that it leads merely to a conduction block in the nerve. Considerable improvement occurs in most other cases, and only 10% of all patients are seriously dissatisfied with the outcome. Although there is not enough scientific data to prove the effectiveness of corticosteroids, most specialists use cortisone, as there is no other treatment available. Not even surgical intervention has made a difference to the outcome.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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