Acupuncture has been my savior! I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago and immediately went on steroids and anti-virals. As soon as I finished them, I got an sinus infection. Then they put me on antibiotics. I was in a great deal of pain and the right side of my face was completely paralyzed. I have never done acupuncture before. I did 3 treatments in one week. I can already partially smile and I have no pain. It is amazing! I wish you the best of luck and know that other people out there feel your pain literally.
I tried that in the beginning. It was very expensive with no insurance. It was so painful, I was crying the whole session, but I suffered through it for a few weeks. I didn't notice any change so I stopped. Seeing a chiropractor was the only thing that really helped make a difference. It is so frustrating, some days I get upset because I have no idea how long this will last. Coming close to almost 7 months
I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy many year's ago after experiencing a sharp pain in the right side of my neck in the back one night. The next morning I woke up with half my face paralyzed!. Very, very, scary! Immediately went to my doctor and was told it was Bell's Palsy. He said it was a viral inflammation of the main facial nerve (on one side). I was given meds for inflammation and ALSO put through electro-nerve muscle stimulation therapy on the muscles in the paralyzed side of my face so that those muscles wouln't atrophy. I also was told to cover my eye to keep it shut so that it would not dry out because I couln't blink during the day. The whole episode lasted about 6 weeks, then I was fine - no lasting adverse effects whatsoever and no re-occurence. Strange disease......
Hi Junebug - I feel your pain. I got Bell's Palsy on October 14th 2012 and it has been a very slow recovery. Like you, I have tried everything. I went three months with no movement at all...even with steroids, electrical muscle stimulation, massage, exercises, B12, etc. I would say I am 50-60% recovered and am starting to wonder if I will ever be 100% again. Within 5 hours of the onset, I was at the ER and on steroids/anti-virals....they say that the sooner you get steroids to reduce inflammation, the better. My MRI was clear and I saw a neurologist who ruled out lyme disease and other things that can cause this. I am slowly getting the movement back. About two months ago, I started seeing a facial plastic surgeon that specializes in facial paralysis. He shared the following statistics with me...70% of people who get Bell's Palsy will recover 100% within 6 months. Then, there are the 30% like me who have not. I am 9 months into this now. I can close my eye, blink and partially smile. However, I cannot lift my left eyebrow yet and I cannot smile evenly like I used to.The left side moves up just a little. The healing process can take 1-2 years...and I may not fully recover. I have been in touch with facial retraining experts that have given me more facial exercises and massage treatments as well as mirror therapy which is really interesting. My nerves have grown back differently and when I try to lift my eyebrow, my smile curls up. This happens more often whith people who have longer term Bell's Palsy. I also have twitching under my eye and on my chin. I have concluded that there are lots of things you can do...but everyone is different and nothing is really proven other than the use of steroids early in diagnosis. I think you are so right in reducing stress, eating right, etc. Stay positive and realize it could always be worse. Most people can't tell I have this now unless I talk too fast causing my mouth to pull to one side, or smile real big where they can see the unevenness of my face. It was hard at first...my smile used to be my trademark...but I have so much else to be thankful for and this is just a bump in the road. Everyone at work, family and friends have been very supportive. Admittedly, I am still frustrated that I may never get my smile back completely...but I will tell you something. I have little kids, and they never noticed anything was ever wrong...even when I couldn't move my face for three months. They just see mommy and love me no matter what! Hang in there and focus on the positive!