Are you looking for the treatment for Bell’s palsy in Morris County, New Jersey?
HBOT USA in New Jersey is here to help you diagnose and treat your Bell’s palsy symptoms, and help promote your rapid recovery.
In this blog, we will look more closely into the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in relation to the neurologic system.
Neuropathy is defined as the damage or dysfunction of nerves which results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and pain in the affected area.
Bell’s Palsy is considered a neuropathy and can therefore benefit greatly from the increased oxygenation induced by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
There is strong evidence that regular sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help reverse Bell’s palsy symptoms.
In order for us to understand how Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be used as a reliable means of Bell’s palsy treatment, we must first understand what we are dealing with
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen and Bell’s Palsy?
Before we talk about the relation between hyperbaric oxygen and bell’s palsy, let’s discuss what HBOT is.
Oxygen is the fuel our cells require for the most important functions in our body.
We absorb oxygen through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where it is distributed across the body where it is converted by the mitochondria of our cells into energy.
This energy is what we use to heal and regenerate damaged nerves and tissues, recover from inflammations, and heal through severe injuries.
When we are deprived of oxygen, or when parts of our body are deprived of oxygen, we might experience negative consequences such as non-healing wounds or a compromised immune system.
Nerve damage, in particular, requires a constant flow of oxygen to heal, and inflammation can create blockages that prevent oxygen from reaching affected areas.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is the process of oxygenating the blood by entering a highly pressurized, oxygen rich hyperbaric chamber.
This process elevates the blood oxygen levels in a safe and controlled manner, and is proven to have a plethora of health benefits, including the improvement in healing/regeneration of tissues, nerves and even of our stem cells and immune system.
Acute Peripheral Facial Palsy or Bell’s Palsy is a neuropathy characterized as the weakening or paralysis of the facial muscles.
There is visible sagging or drooping of one side of the face associated with pain and discomfort on the affected side of the face and head.
It begins suddenly and worsens over a 48 hour period.
This condition is the result of damage to the facial nerve or what is known as the 7th cranial nerve, though the exact cause is yet unknown.
Possible reasons are attributed to an unintended reaction from after a viral infection, or some form of trauma-induced swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of the face.
Bell’s palsy can affect anyone of any age group, but is most commonly seen among people who suffer from diabetes, influenza, colds, or some other form of upper respiratory ailment or in pregnant women.
Bell’s palsy is less prevalent among people younger than age 15 or older than age 60.
If you suspect you are suffering from Bell’s palsy, consulting a doctor is your best option. Symptoms to watch out for may include:
- Sudden onset of mild weakness or complete paralysis on one side of the face. This effect could happen within hours or days and could persist for several more days.
- One side of the face begins to droop, and a marked difficulty in making facial expressions on that side, such as smiling or closing your eye
- Numbness in the face due to the shutting down of the neurologic system
- Drooling due to numbness in the lips and mouth.
- Sudden and uncontrollable increase of tears and saliva
- Headaches and pain behind the ear and around the jaw of the affected side
- Increased sensitivity to noise on the affected side
- A loss of taste
- Bell’s palsy can affect both sides of the face, in rare cases.
It is important to note that Bell’s Palsy can be mistaken for other ailments such as stroke, Lyme disease, infections, and tumors, all of which can cause facial muscle weakness similar to those seen in Bell’s Palsy.
Can Bell’s palsy cause permanent nerve damage?
In rare cases, yes.
Mild cases of Bell’s palsy are normally known to disappear within 4 weeks.
Severe cases involving total paralysis, however, may come with more serious complications such as irreversible damage to your facial nerve.
Most people with Bell’s palsy see full recovery even without treatment.
Recovery time varies from case to case.
Medications or physical therapy can help speed up your recovery, and surgery can sometimes be recommended by doctors in severe cases.
What are the traditional methods of Bell’s Palsy treatments?
Bell’s Palsy can only be diagnosed via a diagnosis of exclusion, or after other causes of facial weakness (such as stroke or tumor) have been ruled out.
Once properly identified, the goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling and inflammation in the facial area in order to allow blood flow back into the damaged nerves so they can heal.
Anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, such as prednisone, can reduce the swelling of the 7th cranial nerve and allow it to fall back naturally within the bony structure that surrounds it.
Corticosteroid use should be started within a few days from when your symptoms begin to show.
Even with short term usage of corticosteroids, some patients experience unintended side effects such as fatigue, increased blood sugar, fluid retention, irritation in the stomach, increase in weight, irritable disposition and heightened alertness and/or hunger.
In severe cases of Bell’s Palsy where viral infection is the suspected cause, a course of antiviral drugs are sometimes used alongside steroidal medication, although its benefits are largely unproven.
Physical therapy has been proven to somewhat alleviate the pain associated with Bell’s Palsy and help speed up the recovery process.
Paralyzed muscles might have shrunk and shortened, causing facial contractures that seemingly won’t go away on their own.
A physical therapist can assist you in massaging and exercising your facial muscles to help with this condition.
Alternative Treatment: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Bell’s Palsy
Treating Bell’s palsy with hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a great alternative to traditional treatments.
The neurologic system is very metabolically active and requires a great deal of oxygen to function even under normal circumstances.
Damaged nerves, such as those seen in Bell’s Palsy, require even more oxygen to fully recover, but the inflammation that comes hand in hand with neuropathy often prevents oxygen from reaching the damaged nerves.
Studies conducted to contrast Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy with the traditional methods of Bell’s Palsy treatment shows a marked increase in recovery time for patients who were made to do regular Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy session, as opposed to those who only took steroid and antiviral medications that is typically prescribed by doctors.
In one study, patients were randomly assigned either to the HBOT-treated group or to the prednisone-treated group.
At the end of the 30 day testing period, 95.2% of patients treated with HBOT saw full recovery, while only 75.7% of patients treated with prednisone recovered completely.
The average time to complete the recovery in the HBOT group was 22 days as opposed to the 34.4 days in the control group.
The results clearly showed that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a much more effective means of treatment of Bell’s Palsy symptoms than prednisone.
We at HBOTUSA New Jersey are dedicated to providing the top quality Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
This technology is safe and effective at promoting rapid healing and improving overall health in patients.
To book an appointment or to find out more about the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, visit us at https://oxygennj.com/
- Bell’s Palsy is a condition where the nerves that control one or both sides of the facial muscles become damaged due to inflammation or trauma.
- It is essential to treat nerve damage as soon as possible as the longer the damage is left untreated, the onset of nerve death increases. In the case of Bell’s Palsy, it is no different.
- To treat Bell’s Palsy symptoms, we must reduce swelling in the affected area in order to promote healing of the damaged nerves.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is the process of hyper-oxygenating the blood.
- Through regular sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, we can regulate the amount of oxygen that our cells and tissues receive, which in turn reduces inflammation in the affected area, which in turn improves microcirculation and promotes the healing of the surrounding tissues and damaged nerves. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy will actually improve the delivery of vital nutrients needed in the healing process, as well as mobilizing the stem cells that keep us healthy. By using hyperbaric oxygen therapy, oxygen floods into the areas that need it most, stimulating nerve growth and regeneration.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a proven technique in promoting cell, tissue and nerve regeneration, and is known to alleviate symptoms of Bell’s Palsy as well as a whole host of other conditions.