Wed, Nov 20, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Facial paralysis more common in fall, winter: doctor

By Lin Hui-chin and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Temporary facial paralysis, or Bell’s palsy, is particularly common in the fall and winter months when viruses are more active, a Taipei neurologist said on Monday after Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was reportedly diagnosed with the condition.

Temporary facial paralysis is primarily caused by infections — particularly viral infections — leading to an imbalanced immune response, said Wang Shuu-jiun (王署君), director of Taipei Veterans General Hospital’s Neurological Institute.

Treatment typically involves using corticosteroids to reduce swelling and inflammation of the facial nerves, he said.

People with temporary facial paralysis should start taking medication as soon as possible, as delayed treatment could reduce its effectiveness, Wang added.

Most patients who are treated recover in one to two weeks, he added.

Temporary facial paralysis is not uncommon, Wang said.

It is usually more likely to occur in the fall and winter when colds are more common and viruses are more active, he said.

Some people experience pain in the ears before the onset of the condition, he added.

People who experience symptoms that they suspect to be from temporary facial paralysis should consult a neurologist to determine the cause and begin treatment, Wang said.

The Executive Yuan in a statement on Sunday said that Su earlier in the day had visited a hospital, where a doctor diagnosed him with temporary facial paralysis caused by overwork and a viral infection.

Additional reporting by Chiu Yen-ling

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