Because of the debate over what causes Bell’s Palsy the doctor will most probably prescribe the following two treatments:
To cover the possibility of it being a viral infection, a course of Antiviral tablets to fight the viral infection will be prescribed – usually Acyclovir, Valacyclovir or Famvir.
To cover the possibility of it being an inflammatory problem a course of steroids to reduce the inflammation will be prescribed – usually Prednisone
Do not worry (as I did) that they are Steroids – all the bad press about steroids is only for their very prolonged use – Your treatment will be for a matter of 7 – 14 days.
What ever you do you MUST GO to the doctors. The Steroid treatment’s window of opportunity is within the first 72 hours (some even say the first 48 hours).
Will the antiviral and steroid treatments cure it?
Well, some studies show that they will improve the chances and the timescale of recovery and others show that it makes no difference to these things.
Wise words given to me were that even if they don’t do anything, you will kick yourself, if the condition does not heal as well as you had hoped and you had missed the window of opportunity of taking whatever treatment was on offer that might have made a difference.
By taking both treatments you are giving yourself the best shot at a full and quick recovery.
Alternative or complementary treatment for Bell’s Palsy
Any alternative or complimentary treatment that interests you may be beneficial to your recovery.
The first (and hardest initially) advice that I was given was to rest and relax. This is another reason for this book; to calm your fears, answer your questions and allow you to rest and relax whilst your body and mind concentrate on the healing process.
A vast array of alternative treatments are available.
These should ONLY be tried after your visit to your doctor for a correct diagnosis and the medicinal offerings that you will almost certainly be given.
Listen to your doctor’s advice. He or she knows about you and your condition. Some doctors say there is nothing that you can do but wait for your condition to heal.
If that is the advice you get, then there would be no harm in trying other things with which you feel comfortable. The worst that could happen, surely, is that they don’t work, but if you have had a relaxing time having the treatment (most are relaxing) then that is a benefit in itself and could just be the thing to spur on your recovery.
They all have their own merits and claims and the best thing that I can suggest is that you speak to the practitioner in question first, to assess whether you think that they know about your condition and seem willing to do their best for you and whether or not you get along with them.
They will be able to go into far more depth specifically about their profession and their knowledge of your condition and the benefits of their particular therapy offering.
Robert Wilkinson is the author of All Bells and No Whistle - the self help guide for living with and recovering from Bell's Palsy He is currently writing his latest book on the subject of stress.