Ward Class

An Online Resource Site For Student Nurses

Welcome

Ward Class is an online resource for student nurses. Created with the aim of helping student nurses cope with the demands of nursing school and clinicals, it offers free downloads, notes, sample NCPs, sample drug studies, study aids, news and updates, and practical tips to its users.

Site Announcement

The December 2012 PRC Nursing Board Exam Result is already available here at Ward Class and at Pinoy R.N.




Neurologic Disorders: Bell's Palsy


  • one of the most common neurologic disorders affecting the cranial nerves
  • it is an abrupt, unilateral loss of ability to move muscles of the face due to a disorder of cranial nerve VII
  • caused by an autoimmune reponse or may be viral (herpes simplex, herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus, and Eipstein-Barr virus)
  • incidence is slightly higher in patients of Japanese decent
Assessment Findings
  • Sudden onset of paralysis or weakness on one side of your face, making it difficult to smile or close your eye on the affected side
  • Facial droop and difficulty with facial expressions
  • Pain behind or in front of your ear on the affected side
  • Sounds that seem louder on the affected side
  • Pain, usually in the ear on the affected side
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste (anterior two-thirds of tongue of affected side)
  • Changes in the amount of tears and saliva your body produces
Medical Management
  • most patients recover fully- with or without treatment
  • medications such as corticosteroids may be given to reduce facial nerve inflammation
  • physical therapy may be prescribed to speed up recovery and to avoid contractures
  • surgery (decompression surgery) is rarely an option
Nursing Management
  1. regular facial nerve function assessment
  2. administer pain medications and corticosteroids as ordered
  3. provide soft diet ; avoid very hot and cold foods
  4. instruct patient to chew on unaffected side
  5. perform mouth care before and after meals
  6. provide special eye care ro protect the cornea: eyeshield or dark glasses, artificial tears, eye patch or ointment to keep eyelids closed at night
Prognosis

Bell's palsy normally disappears within 3 to 5 weeks for most clients. If the damage to facial nerve is unusually severe, the fibers may be irreversibly damaged. Some patients may exhibit partial paralysis, involuntary movement accompanying a voluntary movement, and/or involuntary lacrimation after a voluntary muscle movement.

Prevention

Bell's Palsy is not preventable.

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