If you are looking for the treatment of Bell’s Palsy in Chicago, there is a promising new alternative therapy right around your neighborhood that can dramatically accelerate your recovery, while simultaneously boosting your energy and immune system.
Leading experts at HBOT Chicago are ready to help you through your road to recovery.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a proven and effective way to alleviate symptoms of neuropathic diseases such as Bell’s Palsy.
To properly understand how Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help you deal with Bell’s Palsy, let’s first discuss the disease itself.
What is Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy, otherwise known as Acute Peripheral Facial Palsy, is a neuropathy (nerve damage) involving the malfunctioning of nerves that control the muscles on one or both sides of the face.
The weakening or paralysis of these muscles causes the most recognizable sign of Bell’s palsy, which is the sudden and noticeable drooping or stiffness of the affected side of the face, which then worsens over a period of 48 hours.
Bell’s Palsy is a serious and debilitating disease that remains poorly understood to this day.
The exact cause of this remains undiscovered, but it is likely due to the 7th cranial nerve (facial nerve) being under some form of trauma or inflammation, causing pressure to build up in the Fallopian canal (a bony chamber where the facial nerve passes through).
Some experts believe that Bell’s Palsy is linked to dormant viral infections that can be triggered by stress, sickness, physical trauma or auto-immune disease.
Sleep deprivation can also be a possible trigger.
Bell’s palsy affects at least 40,000 people in the US alone and can strike anyone of any age.
The facial paralysis can last 4 or more weeks, and most patients who experience these uncomfortable symptoms find it difficult to go to work, school or attend social gatherings without feeling stress or embarrassment.
80% of patients fully heal from Bell’s palsy, although recovery time may be different from case to case. Medications like steroids or antivirals are typically used to treat the disease, supplemented with physical therapy.
In some rare cases however, the facial sagging could relapse or become permanent, and doctors could recommend surgery for severe cases.
For reasons unknown, Bell’s palsy is three times more likely to occur in pregnant women than in women who are not.
Pregnant women are especially susceptible to Bell’s palsy during their third trimester.
High blood pressure or gestational diabetes in pregnant women might also have a part to play.
Bell’s Palsy symptoms 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.
These symptoms are similar to those seen in stroke, Lyme disease, infections, and tumors, all of which can cause facial muscle weakness.
Which is why Bell’s Palsy can only be properly identified through a process of elimination or a diagnosis of exclusion, wherein doctors have to rule out all other similar diseases before declaring it Bell’s Palsy.
Doctors might recommend patients to undergo Electromyography (EMG) to find the extent of the nerve involvement, order blood tests to rule out other conditions, or conduct magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) to find any structural causes for your palsy.
How does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy help treat Bell’s Palsy?
Whatever the underlying cause may be, Bell’s palsy is the result of the inflammation or damage around the facial nerves.
In order to treat this, doctors will typically prescribe medication to bring down the swelling or trauma, but these drugs are often steroidal in nature and are fraught with their own downsides.
Steroidal medicine such as Prednisone does well to reduce inflammation of the facial nerve and tends not to cause severe or significant side effects when taken for short periods of time or at low doses.
But Bell’s Palsy symptoms can sometimes require a lot of medication depending on the patient, and some people are more sensitive to its unpleasant side effects than others.
There are cases where patients report sudden bloating or weight gain, fatigue, increased blood sugar, irritation in the stomach, irregular mood changes and sleeping problems.
A new solution has been found in HBOT or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
The key factor in this therapy is the role of oxygen in the human body. Oxygen is the primary fuel source of our cells.
When we inhale air, our lungs filter out the oxygen, allowing our red blood cells to absorb the O2. This is then delivered to our bloodstream via circulation.
The oxygen is converted into energy by the mitochondria in our cells, powering the various functions of our body, including our natural restorative processes and our immune system.
Lack of oxygen can cause our body to function less efficiently, which is why injuries that involve nerve damage or nerve blockages can sometimes take a very long time to heal.
Oxygen deprivation is a big factor in neuropathic diseases.
What Hyperbaric oxygen therapy does is it increases the total oxygen levels in our blood beyond the normal amount that we can acquire under normal circumstances.
This is achieved in a safe and controlled process involving a trip to a Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment facility, where experts and trained physicians will facilitate your procedure.
You will enter a hyperbaric chamber, wherein the air pressure and oxygen levels will be increased.
As you breathe normally in this high pressure, oxygen rich environment, your body will begin to absorb so much oxygen that your blood plasma itself becomes hyper-saturated with oxygen.
This creates a tremendous boost in energy within your body, triggering all sorts of beneficial processes like tissue regeneration, telomere regeneration, metabolic boosts, immune system boosts and nerve repair in the brain and body (neuroplasticity and angiogenesis).
Bell’s palsy, being a neuropathy, can be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Nerve regeneration requires a great deal of oxygen, and the inflammation associated with Bell’s palsy hinders oxygen flow to the affected area, slowing down the healing process even more.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy will help treat both the swelling and the nerve damage, as those are both dependent on oxygen supply.
The ill side-effects of the loosening of the face can be mitigated within a few regular sessions of HBOT.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe and reliable method of holistically improving health.
Not only will it help relieve symptoms of Bell’s palsy, but it will also trigger other benefits in your body that will improve your general well being.
Countless patients report having positive experiences after undergoing Hyperbaric oxygen therapy like added energy, added stamina, better sleep and better concentration.
- Bell’s palsy is a disease that causes sagging or paralysis of the facial muscles caused by nerve damage and aggravated by inflammation of the structures surrounding the facial nerve.
- Bell’s palsy usually goes away on its own after 4 or more weeks, but some cases last much longer, or even permanently. There are also known cases of relapse where the sagging returns suddenly and unexpectedly.
- The typical treatments for Bell’s palsy include oral steroidal medicine and antiviral medicine, which can come with harmful side effects.
- Do visit us for the treatment for Bell’s Palsy in Chicago.
- The healing process involved in repairing nerve damage and inflammation is highly reliant on oxygen intake. Oxygen is the fuel on which our body’s functions run on. The problem with Bell’s palsy is that the inflammation in the affected area could be restricting blood flow in and around the facial area, therefore preventing the healing of the damaged nerve.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT is a medical procedure that is proven to reduce inflammation and help heal damaged tissues and nerves by increasing the oxygen supply in the bloodstream through the use of a safe and well-proven method. Patients who undergo regular Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy sessions have seen dramatic results in treating neuropathy and other nerve or tissue damage related issues.
HBOT Chicago’s clinics have state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen facilities and have successfully treated patients who suffer from Bell’s palsy, as well as cerebral palsy, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, anemia, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, sports injuries, post stroke care, brain injuries, ALS, wound and scar treatments, low energy, head injuries, post surgical care and healing, dementia, and autism to name a few.
They even cater to professional athletes for improved athletic performance and help facilitate in-house hyperbaric oxygen procedures.
If you’re interested in learning more about HBOT or looking for a treatment for bell’s palsy in Chicago, you may call the Chicago HBOT clinic at (312) 767-3500.