Hi Everyone, a couple of nights ago my 15 year old daughter's face (the left side) went paralyzed. I called a nurse who had me bring her to the ER. She was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. The dr said it is highly unusual in such a young person. They are having her take a steriod and an anti-viral. They believe that people with Bell's Palsy have been exposed to the chicken pox or shingles virus. My grandmother came down with shingles a month ago, and we were spending a lot of time with her due to my grandfather's heart attack.
My daughter's left eye is staying wide open and yet she is complaining about blurry vision in that eye. The dr completely dismissed her worries and said nothing about it. She is using artificial tears to keep the eye from drying out and it does blink. Has anyone else had blurry vision with Bell's Palsy?
Another thing that worries me is that she had been complaining about neck pain two days prior. I'm wondering if this is related. The dr dismissed this also. Any one else have Bell's Palsy? Can you tell me anything about it? Thanks!
Bells Palsy - although the name sounds freaky is never permanent. It takes up to a year to fully recover because the nerves need time to FULLY regenerate (about 18 months or longer). Symptoms usually begin to subside on their own within 2 weeks
Children recovery very well and quicker then older adults.
It's known to be caused by trauma to the cranial nerve and also believed that a viral infection such as viral meningitis or herpes simplex causes the disorder when the facial nerve swells and becomes inflamed in reaction to the infection. Warning sign's can be pain in the ear or neck, a dry eye or tingling around their lips.
Because there is no cure for Bells Palsy and it's never permanent- doctors are unconcerned and mostly wait it out and prescribe something to alleviate the symptoms such as acyclovir (to fight viral infections) and anti-inflammatory drugs (prednisone) to reduce inflammation and swelling.
I too had bells palsy at 15. I am now 22 and a male. Started one evening, and was full blown left side of face by morning. I went to the doc and did the steroid pills. Worked great. It has been 7 years and no reoccurance. Hope this helps.
My 9 year old son had Bells Palsy last summer, for some reason it flared up again this week. His left side of his face is completely paralyzed, Dr. put him on Prednisone. It is so hard to see him this way, and worse, kids at school are really making fun of him and he is having a hard time dealing with that.
Have you gotten a second or even third opinion on your son's Bells Palsy?
I only ask because the average timespan between recurrences is 10 years (if a reacurrence does at all happen) and most doctors take the laid back approach figuring Bells Palsy heals mostly on it's own.
I would get another doctor's opinion being he was diagnosed last summer and now has a recurrence. It may be something else that needs to be treated in a different manner.
Thank you for your advice and help. I worry also about how other kids will treat my daughter. She was already having troubles with a couple girls. I did ask her teachers to keep a close eye on her. According to the ER dr, (if it goes away), it can reoccur. I really hope it doesn't. I notice my daughter is hiding her laugh and avoiding looking at people. I tried to help her self esteem by getting her a hair cut and perm yesterday.
I really wasn't happy about her taking the steriods as I've been on them myself several times this last year. They make me feel crazy. The dr insisted that she had to take them. The poor kid is going a hundred miles and hour and hardly sleeps. She has horrible dark circles under her eyes. Today is her last day on them. She also has a follow up appt with her primary today. I haven't seen any improvement at all yet.
Cwjackson---how did your son do on the steriods and how long did it take for it to clear up? I'm sorry that anyone so young has to go thru this.
I had Bell's Palsy in my 30's and was told recovery depends on your health at the time. People in good health do recover better than others with poor health. I too was on Predisone for 2 weeks and had to take a second round of it. My eye stayed open and I had to wear a patch and use eyedrops frequently to keep the eye from drying out. Using drops every 30 minutes is a good idea, if the thin kind. There are some eye drops that are better than others. For night, Refresh PM ointment is good. I also use Refresh Celluvisc, or Systane, or Refresh Plus. Some are thicker than others and will take longer for the blurr to clear. I now have dry eyes from other causes.
The blurr your daughter is experiencing is most likely the eye is too dry. Use more frequently eye drops or a drop that is thicker.
Two years later when I had another child my face began to paralyze again, child birth can do that. The doctor told me to pray, that was all that could be done for me. Fortunately my face did not completely paralyze again.
I am a senior adult now and my face does not droop. The eye does stay a little more open than the other, not noticeable to others. My face still hurts off and on, especially when I am tired. In fact, my face hurt for 10 years.
BlueSteam--- My son seems to be doing a little better since starting the steroids, his mouth is starting to regain a little movement and his eye is closing a little better. He has been taking the Prednisone for 3 days now. As far as I can remember, his palsy last year lasted over two weeks.
Misty800, Thank you for the advice on the eye drops. I'm sorry that you've had so much pain for so long. So far the only pain my daughter has complained about was her neck. After doing my own research I have found that pain (especially in the neck or ear) is quite common just before you get BP. I can't believe the ER dr didn't tell me that.
Cwjackson, It's been 8 days now for my child and we saw a tiny hint of smile on her left side last night. I'm so grateful for her teachers. I e-mailed a couple that I know real well and asked them to watch out for her. The vise-principle sent an e-mail to all of the teachers. I guess he's been checking in on her too. We are lucky to live in a small town with a small school.
We had a follow up visit with her primary on Fri and he made us feel a lot better about the whole thing. She told the dr that she was fine with it. They are going to do a CT scan because she does have a lump on her neck. I'm hoping that it will turn out good. I hope both our kids get over this quickly!
Hi BlueSteam. Bells Palsy can be a symptom of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a multi-system bacterial infection caused from the bite of an infected tick. Below is a list of Lyme symptoms. You can have any combination of symptoms.
Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol
If you think Lyme is a possibility, it is very important for her to see a Lyme knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and follow outdated protocols. No test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab. If you would like a doctor recommendation, let me know.
From what I understand, people who have Lyme disease should not take steroids because they can make symptoms worse.
I had Bell's Palsy when I was 15 years old. It was triggered by stress as I had a lot of exams on at the same time. My doctor also said it was also emotionally triggered or could have been from a chill. My cousin has just had her second bout of Bell's Palsy during her second pregnancy. This time she has only had a 70% improvement after 9 months.
I was told to keep a hot compress just behind my right ear when I felt pain there and the swelling on the bone would be reduced. I also did facial exercises to make sure the muscles moved. I still do these occassionally today to make sure all is OK.
My advice is not to stress out about getting it back again. Reduce stress and improve nutrition. Keep a hot compress (face washer with hot water) pressed on the bone beside the earlobe too.
Hi AFH.....I had Bells' Plasy 11 years ago. Please do not say that this is not a permanent thing and everyone recovers. You need to site a reference here because this is simply not true.
Children that are not born with this condition, and they can be usually recover quickly because of their youth. A child I had in my class at school had it when she was born and there was no chance of her getting better. Docs tried taking a nerve from her leg and grafting it into the side of her face. Conditions that cause Bells are trauma from childbirth, lime disease, undiagnosed tumors pressing on the facial nerve and upper respirtory infections, a chill to that side of the face, and possibly the chicken pox virus. I had this condition for a year. Mine came from a severe head cold, small blocked eustachian tube and a chill after a dance class.....I was in my 50s. I could not close my eye for one year. It took two years for the nerves to start to regenerate...along with tremendous pain....the nerves took so long that they did not connect properly...the muscles in my neck took over and let me smile, rather crookedly and
my eye does close....but i will always have residual effects of this palsy.......some and probably most cases are light and recovery is 100% but there are others that are not. I had steriods, acupuncture, massage and saw a neurologist and no one really could tell me when the nerves would regenerate...Also the time period a second attack can occur is usually within a ten year period.....after that there is less of a chance. Also if you had a severe case, for some reason, the chance of another occurrence is slim....just my two cents on a miserable time in my life.....Karen
Wow, it seems as though everyone has differant "healing patterns" when it comes to BP. I really wish there was something more that could be done for everyone. I do know someone who has had it for over four years, and then there's my grandfather who recoved in less than two weeks.
We do live out in the country and earlier in the summer there were a lot of ticks--seemed as though we were constantly working with our dogs to keep them clean of them. My daughter was checked over completely every time she went out. We never found a tick on her. If I remember correctly, that's the only way to get the Lyme disease.
There is even more of a smile on her left side now, but she complained this morning of her face feeling bruised and hurting. As far as I know, this is normal? I wish I would have read the replies here before she went to school so we could have tried the heat on it. We will do it as soon as she gets home. Does everyone think it's OK for her to continue doing normal activies such as running a mile in gym class and such? She did that yesterday and then this AM started complaining about the pain in her face. I just wonder if it's connected.
though i have never had it myself my dad and son-in-law both did. both got it the same way. pumping gas on a freezing windy day. dr. told them both it was from the cold beating on their faces. both healed totally. dad was mid-70's and son-in-law was mid-30's
Hi BlueSteam. Many people are bitten by ticks without knowing it. They are tiny and inject a numbing agent so you cannot feel them on you. They often attach in places that are hard to see. It is possible she was bitten without knowing it.
I would ask her doctor if it is okay for her to do her normal activities. If this does not clear up like it should and/or she has other symptoms on the list posted, I highly recommend she be evaluated by a Lyme knowledgeable doctor.