Irregularity - Bell's Palsy

Originally created by Sir Hobo
6 years ago.

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Considering that I, Sir Hobo, am the only person at current who has this condition as an irregularity, and because people have indicated that they are unfamiliar with this particular, I will attempt to help people understand what the particular is.
Please note that I am not a medical expert and as such am not someone who can explain every tidbit about it, but I will at least try to help people see what it means for me in particular, because experiences with something are the best source for writing the stuff of legend, clearly.
For a more correct analysis of this dysfunctioning I refer to the end of the post, where I will link to sites with more information.

Bell's palsy, in its most basic principle, is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunctioning of the facial nerve, which is No. VII in the twelve paired cranial nerves. This nerve is supposed to control the muscles used for facial expressions, and also convey taste sensations.
However, because of the dysfunctioning, one side is affected and thus the person will be unable to express himself with the affected side. It is a paralysis that occurs spontaneously and, in 99% of the cases, affects one side of the face.

Though there are other conditions that can cause paralysis of the sort, such as a stroke, and Lyme disease, the paralysis is identified as Bell's palsy when no specific cause be identified. (In the other cases it is a symptom of the condition, instead of a condition on itself)
There is no known cause available for the condition known as Bell's palsy, and identification is usually done by elimination - when it is a standalone condition rather than a symptom of an other condition, it will be marked as Bell's palsy.

When affected with the paralysis, the muscles of the face malfunction. The affected person will usually be unable to control movement in these muscles.
My personal experience with the inability to control the muscles results in the inability to keep a "straight face" in the most literal meaning of the word - as the affected side of the face does not respond to the movement as much as the other side, smiling results in the face looking out of sync, as the affected side can only get about a third 'correct', whereas the unaffected side goes all the way up correctly.
As the entire side of the face is affected, there are more effects. The area around the eye is largely not movaable, which leaves the eye unable to close properly, instead showing the white as a result, and the eyebrow on the affected side also does not move properly, drooping in place, causing looks of astonishment to look as fascinating eyebrows. Winking can only be done on the unaffected side, as the affected side does not respond.

When Bell's palsy happens, the prognosis is good without treatment - in a 1982 study, 85 percent showed signs of recovery within three weeks. The other 15 percent recovered in the six months following that. After a follow-up a year later, 71 percent of the patients had completely recovered. Further study showed that incomplete palsies recovered within a month.
As for myself, however, I have been affected with Bell's palsy or as long as I can remember. In my childhood years I've had speech therapy to improve the facial muscles, the results of which I cannot remember.

Bell's palsy is not a one-way ticket out of life, however. It is a hidden condition of sorts, showing only when expressing oneself.
Quite a few well-known people have Bell's palsy, including, but not limited to, Pierce Brosnan, actor, George Clooney, actor, Rick Savage, bass guiarist, and Jean Chr├ętien, former prime minister of Canada.

I hope I have informed you properly about the condition known as Bell's palsy, and have made you more considerate (if you weren't already) towards people who have the condition. It occurs spontaneously, and the patient has no say in it happening; you could wake up one day and find one side of your face to be drooping. Think of that, if you ever were to isolate someone who is different than thou. Not like anyone on this site would ever do that, of course, but think about it, 'kay?

Interesting links of interestingness:
∞ Wikipedia ∞ article for more information.
∞ Medical site ∞ article for more information.
∞ Obligatory TvTropes link ∞ for obscure references in text.