Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as Treatment for Bell’s Palsy in Chicago
Residents of Chicago and around the Illinois area who are experiencing symptoms of Bell’s Palsy may now avail of a new alternative therapy that has been proven effective in mitigating the ill effects of the disease while boosting cellular energy and immune system. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is an FDA-approved procedure that can be used to treat neuropathic conditions like Bell’s Palsy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can treat Bell’s Palsy by reducing the onset of inflammation around the affected area.
Spring Grove Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is equipped with state-of-the-art Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy facilities and is conveniently located in the north end of Chicago. Our team of experts can help you achieve a quicker recovery from Bell’s Palsy through the power of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Bell’s Palsy in a nutshell: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Bell’s Palsy, sometimes called Acute Peripheral Facial Palsy, is caused by dysfunction of the nerves that control the muscles on one or both sides of the face and is classified as a form of neuropathy (nerve injury). The most obvious symptom of Bell’s palsy is the rapid and visible drooping or stiffness of the affected side of the face, which increases over a period of 48 hours due to the weakness or paralysis of these muscles.
Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy:
- Sudden onset of facial paralysis or weakness on one side. This effect may occur in a matter of hours or days and may last for a few days.
- Facial expressions on one side, including smiling or closing an eye, become noticeably more difficult to achieve.
- Facial numbness caused by a compromised nervous system
- Drooling because of lip and mouth numbness.
- Sudden and unexplained excess of saliva and tears
- Headaches and pain around the jaw of the affected side and behind the ears
- Increased sensitivity to sound on one or both sides
- A loss of sense of taste
Facial muscular weakness is a symptom of many diseases and disorders, including stroke, Lyme disease, infections, and malignancies. Because of this, a diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy requires doctors to first rule out all other possible causes of the patient’s symptoms before confidently calling it Bell’s Palsy. Electromyography (EMG) may be recommended to determine the degree of nerve involvement, blood tests may be ordered to rule out other conditions, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans may be performed to determine the presence or absence of any structural causes of your palsy.
Women who are pregnant are three times more likely to get Bell’s palsy than women who are not, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy. Pregnancy-related high blood pressure and gestational diabetes are also possible contributors to the onset of Bell’s palsy.
Cause of Bell’s Palsy:
Unfortunately, scientists still know relatively little about Bell’s Palsy, despite the fact that it is a serious and disabling illness. However, it is believed that pressure in the Fallopian canal is caused by damage to or inflammation of the 7th cranial nerve (facial nerve), which has yet to be definitively identified (a bony chamber where the facial nerve passes through). Some researchers have related Bell’s palsy to latent viral infections that become active in response to certain environmental or internal stresses such as anxiety, illness, physical trauma, or autoimmune disorders. A lack of sleep is another potential precipitating factor.
Anyone of any age is susceptible to Bell’s palsy, affecting at least 40,000 people in the United States alone. Since facial paralysis can linger for up to 4 weeks or longer, most people who experience it have a hard time going to work, school, or social events without feeling stressed or embarrassed.
Treatment for Bell’s Palsy:
Regardless of the underlying cause, it is known that Bell’s palsy results in inflammation or injury to the area surrounding the facial nerves. This is why most treatments are centered around mitigating this inflammation.
In most cases, a combination of steroids, antivirals, and physical therapy is utilized to treat the condition. Even a brief course of steroid medication such as Prednisone can help reduce facial nerve inflammation without causing serious or noticeable adverse effects.
However, there are cases where severe Bell’s Palsy symptoms require higher doses of medication, and some patients are more susceptible to unwanted side effects than others. Steroid-based medicines are known to have their own set of risks and are rarely recommended. Patients who undergo high doses of steroidal medicine have reported sudden weight gain or bloating, elevated blood sugar, gastric irritation, mood swings, and inability to sleep. Facial sagging might return even after medication and can become permanent in extremely rare occurrences. In such extreme cases, doctors may recommend some form of surgery.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can treat Bell’s Palsy
The healing power of oxygen in the human body is the fundamental reasoning behind Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Our cells rely primarily on oxygen as their energy source. As we breathe, the oxygen is separated out by the lungs and absorbed by the red blood cells. The circulatory system carries this to the blood itself. The mitochondria in our cells use oxygen to generate energy, which powers everything from our natural repair processes to our immune system.
Oxygen levels play a significant role in the onset and development of neuropathic disorders. Because of the negative effects of the lack of oxygen on the body’s ability to operate normally, some injuries involving nerve damage or nerve blockages can take an uncomfortably long time to heal.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can treat Bell’s Palsy by increasing the total amount of oxygen in our blood to levels that are generally not achievable under regular conditions. Cell death and nerve damage symptoms are mitigated by increased oxygen delivery to the damaged areas. New blood vessel formation is another way in which hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the body’s ability to receive oxygen and nutrients.
To accomplish this, you will need to visit a Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy facility such as Spring Grove Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, where professionals and qualified physicians will guide you through the process in a safe and regulated environment. Upon entering the hyperbaric chamber, the air pressure and oxygen levels will be raised. Taking typical breaths in an oxygen-rich atmosphere will cause your blood plasma to become hypersaturated. With all that extra energy floating around, your body can get to work repairing nerves and tissue, regenerating telomeres, as well as boosting your metabolism and immune system.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can treat Bell’s Palsy and other forms of neuropathy by addressing inflammation around the damaged nerves. Inflammation caused by Bell’s palsy restricts oxygen from reaching the damaged area, which is essential for nerve regeneration but significantly slows the healing process. Since both swelling and nerve injury require oxygen, hyperbaric oxygen therapy will be beneficial in both cases. In just a few sessions of frequent HBOT, the undesirable consequences of facial slackening can be significantly reduced.
Safe and effective, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve health in many ways. Bell’s palsy sufferers will get symptom relief, and they will reap additional health benefits as a result. Many people have found that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has helped them in many ways, including giving them more energy and stamina and helping them sleep, and focus better following treatment.
- Bell’s palsy is a disease that causes face drooping or paralysis due to nerve injury and inflammation of the tissues surrounding the facial nerve.
- In most situations, Bell’s palsy clears up after four weeks on its own, but it can linger for much longer in rare instances. However, relapses in which the sagging reappears suddenly and unexpectedly have been known to occur.
- Bell’s palsy treatment often consists of antiviral drugs and oral steroidal medicine, both of which have potentially dangerous adverse effects.
- Repairing nerve injury and inflammation is a process that relies heavily on oxygen consumption—the oxygen in the air powers our bodies. Bell’s palsy sufferers may have a delay in facial nerve recovery because inflammation in the affected area reduces the blood flow to the face.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that increases the oxygen supply in the blood in a safe and well-proven manner
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can treat Bell’s Palsy by reducing inflammation and aiding in the healing of damaged tissues and nerves. Clinical trials have shown that patients with neuropathy and other nerve or tissue damage who undergo regular sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy have improved significantly.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to be effective, and Spring Grove Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Chicago is one of the world’s leading providers of this technology. Bell’s palsy, cerebral palsy, diabetes, MS, anemia, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, sports injuries, post-stroke care, brain injuries, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), wound and scar treatments, low energy, head injuries, post-surgical care and healing, dementia, and autism are just some of the conditions that have been successfully treated at our clinics, which feature state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen facilities.