Can Lyme Disease Cause Bells Palsy
If you have been diagnosed with Bells Palsy, it could be a sign of chronic Lyme disease. Chronic Lyme disease can attack the facial nerves. Recurring cases of Bells palsy might be a sign of stage three of Lyme disease. Seek medical attention for recurring Bells palsy. Your physician might recommend Lyme testing. You can have Lyme disease for years without knowing it. If your doctor does not recommend Lyme testing, ask them about it. You might also seek help from a Lyme-specialized physician for proper diagnosis.
Lyme disease occurs from the bite of an infected deer tick. A tick must be attached for about 36 to 48 hours before transmitting the bacteria that cause Lyme. Lyme disease is both the most prolific and under-diagnosed tick-borne illness at the same time. The CDC believes that the 30,000 known cases of Lyme each year could actually be ten times higher. This is because many cases are not properly diagnosed.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
One of the hallmarks of Lyme disease is a rash in a target-shape. The rash may develop within days of being bitten. It may also move around the body. It is not uncommon for the rash to go unnoticed, and some individuals may not develop a rash at all. Other symptoms of the disease include:
- Facial weakness
Symptoms of Lymes may begin a few days after being bitten or it may take weeks before any symptoms appear. Symptoms vary greatly from patient to patient.
Lyme Disease Bells Palsy And Facial Paralysis: What Is The Best Treatment Option
There may be times when Lyme disease occurs due to a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Or, there may be instances when other treatment options are required to address a patients symptoms. Regardless, testing is necessary to ensure a patient can receive an accurate Lyme disease diagnosis. From here, a doctor can identify a safe, effective treatment designed to deliver long-lasting symptomatic relief.
Appropriate treatment forLyme disease Bells palsyor other facial palsy symptoms is crucial. Inone study, researchers found patients dealing with Lyme disease-related facial palsy faced a higher risk of severe long-term outcomes when treated using the same regimen as Bells palsy patients.
Those who experience facial paralysis symptoms should consult with a doctor immediately. At this time, a doctor can determine if these symptoms are related to facial paralysis. The doctor also can find out if a patient is coping with Bells palsy or facial palsy and treat the condition accordingly.
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The Road To Recovering Facial Movement
Recovery of facial function often begins within a few weeks however, it may take up to three to four months before some Lyme disease-associated facial palsy patients see any sign of recovery and up to 18 months before recovery is complete.
While all patients with Bells palsy or Lyme disease-associated facial palsy should recover facial tone and movement on the affected side, some will develop permanent facial muscle tightness, involuntary facial movements or restricted smile excursion. These long-term side effects can be effectively treated through targeted physical therapy, Botox® injections or surgical procedures.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
- Approximately three to thirty days after the person has been bitten by an infected tick, the bacteria disseminate from the bite site into the surrounding skin tissue. This may result in an expanding pink or red rash surrounding the bite area. A Lyme disease rash is usually greater than five centimetres in diameter and may be circular, oval or irregular shaped. It may be solid in colour or like a bulls-eye on a dartboard. The rash expands over a period of days to weeks and, in some cases, can reach up to seventy five centimetres in diameter. The rash may not be observed if it appears under body hair, under hair on the scalp or in another inaccessible place. Darker skin may make it difficult to identify a rash and paler rashes can be overlooked even on lighter skin. Even without treatment a Lyme disease rash will resolve but a lack of treatment can allow the disease to progress to more serious and debilitating symptoms.
- You may develop flu-like symptoms, joint pain or tiredness.
If left untreated, then several months or years later you may experience the following:
- Joint pain and swelling of the joints.
- Neurological symptoms, such as a temporary paralysis of one side of your face.
- It may also trigger symptoms, such as chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. This is known as chronic Lyme disease, but further research into this area is required.
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How This Fits In
Lyme disease causes distressing symptoms including facial palsy, which is often misdiagnosed as Bells palsy. There has been a call for epidemiological data concerning Lyme disease, which is currently lacking. If identified early, > 95% of patients with Lyme disease can expect a cure. A heightened awareness of risk may facilitate appropriate prophylaxis, diagnosis, and treatment. This study found Lyme disease is commoner in certain areas and in the summer months, but increasingly, as the climate changes, also in winter. Testing for Lyme disease in younger patients with Bells palsy should be considered.
The diagnosis of Lyme disease tended to be in the less deprived half of the population compared with Bells palsy . Bells palsy diagnoses were spread throughout the year with the exception of March. Lyme disease diagnosis showed a trend towards the summer months .
Seasonal variation in diagnoses of Bells palsy and Lyme disease.
Schedule A Lyme Disease And Bells Palsy Treatment Consultation With Dr Azizzadeh
Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of The Facial Paralysis Institute is a globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who helps patients dealing with long-term facial paralysis related to Lyme disease. He is happy to explore treatment options to help a Lyme disease patient achieve long-lasting relief from their facial paralysis symptoms. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh,please contact us online or call us today at 657-2203.
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Are There Different Lyme Disease Bells Palsy And Facial Paralysis Symptoms
A common symptom of Lyme disease that causes Bells palsy is weakness on one side of the face. Comparatively, Lyme disease related to facial paralysis can result in weakness on one or both sides of the face.
Also, Lyme disease linked to facial paralysis can cause fever, chills, neck stiffness, and other flu-like symptoms. On the other hand, Lyme disease related to Bells palsy is unlikely to cause any of these symptoms.
Bells Palsy Due To Lyme Disease Misdiagnosed Patient Bedridden
In their study Bilateral Facial Nerve Palsy in a Young Woman From West Bengal: Do Not Forget Lyme Neuroborreliosis, Kayal and colleagues describe the case of a 23-year-old woman, living in India, who was misdiagnosed with bilateral facial nerve palsy.
Until recently, India has been considered a non-endemic region for Lyme disease, the authors point out. And, Although it had been considered extremely rare in India, a recent study conducted in Nagarahole and Bandipur in South India surprisingly revealed a high seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection in a population at risk .
According to the case report, the young woman was admitted to the hospital with rapidly evolving progressive weakness of all four limbs, and lancinating pain over the back of the neck and lower back, radiating to upper and lower limbs.¹
Her symptoms had developed over a 1-week period and left the patient bedridden. Ten days prior, she had developed a fever, which resolved within 2 days.
Two months before the onset of symptoms , she developed a slight deviation of her angle of the mouth toward the left side, along with grossly decreased taste sensation and difficulties in closing eyes, blowing, and whistling. This lasted for one month.
She was diagnosed with right-sided Bells palsy but Lyme disease was not considered, initially.
The woman was treated with methylcobalamine and prednisolone. However, her symptoms did not improve.
The authors suggest:
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What Causes Lyme Disease
- Lyme disease is caused by a group of closely-related spirochaetal bacteria species, together known as Borrelia Burgdorferi sensu lato. These bacteria are carried in the blood of various birds and mammals .
- If a tick bites an animal that has the bacteria, then the tick will also become infected. If an infected tick bites a human, then the infection can be passed on to the human as the tick feeds on their blood.
- Ticks are small and their bite painless so may go unnoticed.
- Tick saliva has several functions. It helps to numb the bite area so that the host cant feel it feeding, and to prevent inflammation and keep the blood flowing. Saliva is introduced continuously during the feeding process. Borrelia bacteria are transmitted along with the ticks saliva. The longer the tick remains attached, the more likely it is for a person to become infected. Due to the small size of ticks and the anaesthetic properties of their saliva, not all people with Lyme disease remember being bitten.
- The bacteria move through the skin, into the bloodstream and the lymphatic system .
- The bacteria that cause Lyme disease can damage joints and the nervous system including the facial nerve.
- If the facial nerve is damaged, then the infected person may experience weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles, usually on one side of the face. The medical term for this is facial palsy.
- Symptoms will reveal themselves in the mid- to late stage of the disease.
When To Call A Professional
If you have been diagnosed with Bells palsy, call your doctor immediately if your eye starts hurting or feels irritated. Call if your arms or legs feel weak, your vision changes, you get dizzy, have trouble swallowing, or get a headache that keeps getting worse. Contact your doctor promptly if any symptoms get worse.
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What Are The Complications Of Bell’s Palsy
Bells palsy usually resolves in time and causes no long-term complications. However, during the illness most people with Bells palsy are unable to close their eye on the affected side of their face. It is, therefore, important to protect the eye from drying at night or while working at a computer. Eye care may include eye drops during the day, ointment at bedtime, or a moisture chamber at night. This helps protect the cornea from being scratched.
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A Tick Regurgitates The Spirochete From Its Intestinal Tract Into The Bloodstream Of The Patient And Causes Infection
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A 6-year-old boy presented to the emergency room in July with a history of right facial weakness for one day, headache and neck stiffness.
During the two previous weeks, he had been lethargic and complaining of headache and neck stiffness. He also had several episodes of vomiting. His pediatrician diagnosed otitis externa 10 days prior to his emergency room visit and treated him with eardrops. The child had no history of fever, rash, joint pain or swelling. He had no change in vision, weakness or seizures. His appetite was decreased, and he had lost three pounds during the course of his illness.
The patient lives in a wooded area in Maryland, and had been camping in New Jersey one month prior to admission. He had no known tick bites. Of note, the family dog tested positive for Lyme disease and the patients 3-year-old sister was treated for Lyme disease one year ago.
He was diagnosed with early disseminated Lyme disease with facial nerve palsy, meningitis and secondary erythema migrans . He was treated with ceftriaxone for 30 days and symptoms resolved completely within two weeks of initiating antibiotic therapy. Serum Lyme immunoglobulin M was positive at 7.88 serum Lyme IgG was positive at 2.82 CSF Lyme IgM was positive at 1:2 and CSF Lyme IgG was < 1:4 . Lyme polymerase chain reaction from the CSF was negative.
Lyme Disease And Facial Paralysis
Lyme Disease and Facial Paralysis may not be in the top five when it comes to prevalence of Lyme disease cases, but this disease is still cause for concern. Thousands of New Yorkers are diagnosed with this condition every year. It may be hard to believe, but a tick bite can cause facial paralysis.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. Ticks can transmit the infection if they are infected and bite you. The disease can be challenging to diagnose, but if you hike in wooded or grassy areas and have been bitten by a tick, it is good to get checked.
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Can Lyme Disease Affect Your Face
If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, further complications may not arise. But for those who have been left untreated due to a lack of knowledge regarding their symptoms, it can progress significantly.
The Borrelia bacteria has a way of making its rounds throughout the body once it enters the bloodstream, and it can camp out in fibroblast cells and lymph nodes. It has the ability to hide itself in a way that decreases the chances of the immune system having a response. This means the bacteria can still thrive and have a negative effect on all the bodys systems, including the nerves that affect the face.
Image by on : Is facial palsy a symptom of Lyme disease? Yes, Lyme disease can affect nerves throughout the body, leading to facial palsy.
Lyme Disease And Facial Nerve Palsy Treatment
Lyme disease Bells palsytreatment sometimes requires the use of antibiotics. With corticosteroids, antivirals, and other antibiotics, a patient may be able to treat acute Lyme disease facial paralysis symptoms before they cause long-lasting harm.
Other treatments that may be used to treat Lyme disease facial palsy include Botox or surgery. To determine the best course of action, it is essential to meet with a doctor. This allows a patient to receive a full medical assessment to find out if he or she is dealing with Lyme disease, then explore various treatment options.
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Can You Have Lyme Meningitis Without Knowing
If a person does not know that they received a tick bite and does not develop symptoms at an early stage, they may not realize that they have Lyme meningitis. It is also possible that a person may not test positive for the condition despite having it. However, in time, symptoms are likely to develop. As soon as a person notices symptoms, they should speak with a doctor.
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Lyme Disease And Bells Palsy Diagnosis
Laboratory tests are commonly used to diagnose Lyme disease. These tests require a blood sample from a patient.
Initially, a blood test is taken to determine if a patient is dealing with Lyme disease. If a patient tests negative for Lyme disease, no further testing is required. However, if a patient tests positive or the initial test results are unclear, a second test is used to verify Lyme disease is present.
Lab tests are also used to diagnose Bells palsy or other forms of facial paralysis. A neurologic and ear, nose, and throat evaluation are also performed. Other tests that may be completed include a test of a patients ability to produce tears, computed tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging exam, and electromyography or electroneurography .
Comprehensive testing is key to accurately diagnose Lyme disease and Bells palsy. These conditions can occur in combination with one another or separately, and testing ensures a patient can find out if one or both are present. Following testing, a patient can pursue treatment options that deliver long-lasting symptomatic relief.
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Abnormal Sensations In The Limbs
A possible complication of Lyme disease is peripheral neuropathy, which signals dysfunction in the communication between nerves. Lyme-related neuropathy can cause odd sensations in different parts of the body, especially the limbs. Some people feel sharp, stabbing pains, burning sensations, tingling, and even numbness.These symptoms are common to many diseases, which is one more reason affirmative Lyme disease diagnoses are often delayed.
How Is Bells Palsy Managed Or Treated
Bells palsy improves without treatment. Still, your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of these therapies for symptom relief and a faster recovery:
- Oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, decrease nerve swelling and may help you regain facial movement faster. This treatment is most effective when you start it within 48 hours of noticing symptoms.
- Antiviral medications, such as acyclovir for herpes, may speed recovery, although its unclear how much benefit they provide. This treatment works best when combined with oral corticosteroids.
- Eye care is very important. Eyedrops, including artificial tears, soothe dry, irritated eyes. If your eyelid wont close, you may need to wear an eye patch to protect the eye from irritants and injuries.
- Functional facial plastic surgery procedures are options for people who dont recover to help correct facial asymmetry and assist with eyelid closure.
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