Medical Surgical Bell’s Palsy and Trigeminal Neuralgia #1

Question

The nurse is instructing a client on the causes of Bell’s palsy. What is the nurse’s best explanation for Bell’s Palsy?

Answers

  1. It may be triggered following exposure to herbicide or poison.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because there is no solid evidence to suggest it has a correlation with herbicides or toxins. In fact, the direct cause of Bell’s palsy is not known at this time.

  2. It’s cause may be unknown.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the exact cause of Bell’s Palsy is unknown. Some studies suggest it may include viral exposures like herpes, autoimmune diseases, or other conditions. It is treated with steroids and the outcome for quick recovery is positive if steroids are started within 72-hours of onset.

  3. It may be triggered from malnutrition
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because there is no evidence linking Bell’s Palsy with malnutrition. There are malnutrition-related neurological disorders; however, there is no evidence that reveals Bell’s Palsy is one of them.

  4. It may be triggered from drug and alcohol addiction.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because there is no evidence to suggest any type of drug or alcohol abuse causes Bell’s Palsy. The exact cause of Bell’s Palsy is unknown.

Overview

Bell’s Palsy is facial paralysis resulting from inflammation to cranial nerve VII. The cause may be unknown. There is clinical suggestion a viral infection or illness may cause Bell’s Palsy.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Bell’s Palsy is a temporary facial paralysis that usually resolves within 6 months. However, in rare instances it can be lifelong. There is no evidence that reveals the exact cause of Bell’s Palsy. There is clinical suggestion a viral infection or illness may cause Bell’s Palsy. Inflammation to cranial nerve VII may result in facial paralysis of one side, drooping of mouth, drooling, and being unable to close the eye on the affected side. Sometimes there is facial pain with altered sensation of taste. Treatment includes oral steroid treatment within 72-hours of symptom onset.

Test Taking Tip

When trying to remember which nerve is affected in Bell’s palsy, think of a “Southern Bell” then think of “Southern 7”.

Video Rationale