Carnie Wilson Disorder: 5 Things To Know About Bell’s Palsy

By iScienceTimes Staff on March 19, 2013 1:15 PM EDT

Carnie Wilson
Carnie Wilson, far right, of the pop music group Wilson Phillips, announced that she is currently suffering from Bell’s palsy. The singer tweeted the news to her fans on March 14. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Carnie Wilson of the pop music group Wilson Phillips has Bell's palsy, a nerve disorder that causes paralysis on one side of the face.

The 44-year-old singer broke the news to her Twitter followers: "Just wanted you all 2 know that I have Bell's Palsy on lf side of face right now. Scary, unfortunate, but it goes away. A challenge! Love u."

Wilson has been candid with her health problems before, especially after the singer underwent gastric bypass surgery last year, the International Business Times reported. Wilson had the procedure done in January of 2012 after gaining back most of the weight she lost after her first gastric bypass in 1999.

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The Huffington Post reported that both George Clooney and Pierce Brosnan had Bell's palsy as children and made full recoveries. Wilson said on Twitter that she is treating her Bell's palsy with acupuncture and that it is working.

Wilson tweeted earlier today: "A beautiful day to you all My smile is 70% back!! Except when kids make me belly laugh! Lol they keep me laughing !! Luv to you all".

She also tweeted that she went public with the news because she wants to help someone else who also has the disorder. "BTW- I had it on my rt side 14yrs ago!", she said.

Here are five things you need to know about Bell's palsy:  

1. Bell's palsy is a form of temporary paralysis that occurs when facial nerves are damaged. This causes one side of the face to appear to droop. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the disorder is not related to stroke and is the most common cause of facial paralysis. It usually affects just one side of the face, but in rare cases, can affect both. About 40,000 Americans come down with Bell's palsy each year, and it can occur at any age. It also disproportionately affects people with diabetes or upper respiratory ailments, according to the institute.

2. Bell's palsy is caused by a swollen, inflamed or compressed nerve that controls facial muscles. The exact cause of the nerve damage is unknown, but most scientists believe that viral infections, including herpes simplex -- the common cold sore virus -- are to blame. The swelling that causes the nerve to be damaged is thought to be a result of the infection.

3. Symptoms of the disorder include sudden weakness on one side of the face, causing it to droop. WebMD said that other symptoms of Bell's palsy include drooling, excessive tearing or dry eye, loss of taste, ear pain, numbness in the affected side of the face, and sensitivity to sound.

4. Treatment for Bell's palsy is different for every individual. Most people, however, simply have to wait for it to subside. Others may need to take a corticosteroid or an antiviral medicine to help mitigate any permanent damage that can occur. Physical therapy to help the facial nerve repair faster may be beneficial. Heat applied to the paralyzed side of the face can help alleviate pain.

5. The chances that someone with Bell's palsy will make a full recovery are very good. Most people recover without treatment and within one to two months, although most will start to get better within two weeks from the initial onset of symptoms.  

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