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Bay Area Caregiving - Is It A Stroke, Or Bell's Palsy?

by Amy, August 18, 2017

bay area caregiving

While a caregiver should never attempt to diagnose symptoms for those they care for, there are times you may become extremely concerned about the symptoms your aging loved one is exhibiting. One example is in the case of a stroke; fairly common among the elderly. Could your loved one be having a stroke, or is it possible it's Bell's Palsy? As a leading Bay Area caregiving agency, we know some of the symptoms are very similar.

We've listed some of the symptoms of Bell's Palsy below, however if someone is experiencing paralysis or numbness in any part of the body we urge you to seek medical help at once.

Symptoms of Bell's Palsy may include:

  • Paralysis, numbness, or muscle weakness in the face
  • Drooping of the corner of the mouth or eyelid
  • Twitching
  • Substantial tearing in one of the eyes
  • Dryness of the mouth or eye
  • Change in taste, or loss of taste
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headache
  • Pain around the jaw area or ear

While not everyone with this condition will experience all of the symptoms, these are some of the most common. Some with Bell's Palsy also have a difficult time smiling, opening or closing the eyes, or blinking.

This condition is often confused with TIA (transient ischemic attack) or stroke, however Bell's Palsy is usually temporary and is caused by trauma or inflammation to the facial nerve which could be linked to the herpes virus, shingles virus, or even chickenpox.

About 40,000 American are affected by Bell's Palsy each year; it seems more prevalent in those who have an upper respiratory infection or diabetes, and is thought to be triggered by viral infections such as those mentioned above. The condition typically lasts for about three to six months, however doctors recommend beginning corticosteroids treatment within 3 days (72 hours) of the onset of symptoms.

Regardless of whether someone is exhibiting symptoms you suspect may be Bell's Palsy or a stroke, get medical help immediately.

Care Indeed provides in-home care services to clients in San Jose, Walnut Creek, Palo Alto, and throughout the Bay Area. When you need help you can trust in caring for an aging loved one, count on our staff for quality, professional, compassionate care.