According to most international population studies, 15-30 cases per 100,000 population of Bell's palsy are observed annually. UAE experts now warns residents to be aware of a certain condition that is caused by high usage of air conditioners. The sudden transition from extremely warm temperatures outdoors to cold temperatures indoors is one of the leading concerns associated with Bell's palsy, a facial paralysis caused due to the inflammation of the facial nerve in the skull. The lesser-known condition is characterised by the inability to move one side of the facial muscles and is often mistaken for a brain stroke by patients' due to appearance similar symptoms. Bell's Palsy also causes drooping of the facial muscles, twitching, weakness, drooling, pain around the ear and increased sensitivity to sound. Additionally, Bell's palsy accounts for 60-75 per cent of acute unilateral facial paralysis cases with the right-side being affected 63 per cent of the time. In rare cases, the condition can occur on both sides of the face.
The methods used during physiotherapy for Bell's Palsy include electrical stimulation to help restore the tone and strength of the facial muscles, infrared radiation to improve blood circulation, facial massages to prevent drooping and facial exercises to regain muscle movement. Due to the lack of muscle movement, patients suffering from Bell's Palsy are unable to close their eye leading to increased exposure to light and dust. The constant exposure to air may lead to eye dryness and damage, hence, patients are advised to wear protective eyewear at all times.In addition to medications, doctors now recommend immediate physiotherapy as it expedites the growth of the damaged nerve and helps gain full recovery. Moreover, physiotherapy helps restore the original symmetry of the face and regain complete muscle movement.