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Robert De Niro’s girlfriend suffered from Bell’s palsy: what are its symptoms and causes?

Robert De Niro became a father for the seventh time in April, news he announced when Gia, the name of the baby he had with his girlfriend Tiffany ChenI was about a month old.

However, the arrival of the baby caused complications for Chen, who after childbirth she suffered Bell’s palsyas revealed in a recent interview with the television network CBSfrom the United States.

my face felt weird. It was as if everything was starting to fall in on itself. As if my face was melting in on itself. Then, a week after giving birth, that’s when everything hit,” said the martial arts instructor.

Among the symptoms he described was that his tongue felt numb, in addition to the fact that he could not eat well and stammered when he spoke. Upon going to the hospital, she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.

What is Bell’s palsy?

As its name implies, Bell’s palsy, also known as facial paralysis, is a condition that causes weakness in the muscles on one side of the facewhich in turn causes the facial expression to change considerably.

A Bell’s palsy affects the facial nervealso called the seventh cranial nerve, which it boilts and therefore cannot perform the function of controlling the movement of the muscles.

Sudden weakness in the face with Bell’s palsy, in addition to causing the face to look droopy, also can interfere with daily life of the person who suffers from it, because by not being able to move the muscles at will, you can’t open or close your eyes properlyas well as neither chew nor drink food.

What causes Bell’s palsy?

There is no single specific cause. that causes paralysis in the face, in addition to the fact that it can affect men and women equally, and of all ages, although according to the United States National Library of Medicine It occurs more frequently in people older than 65 years.

A viral infection is one of the most common causes of Bell’s palsy, such as that caused by herpes zoster or shingles (also called Ramsay Hunt syndrome).

Robert De Niro's girlfriend suffered from Bell's palsy: what are its symptoms and causes?

Others of the conditions that could cause facial paralysisaccording to information from the specialized site Mayo Clinicare:

  • Cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex)
  • Infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr)
  • cytomegalovirus infections
  • Respiratory diseases (adenovirus)
  • German measles (rubella)
  • Mumps
  • Flu (influenza B)
  • Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (Coxsackie virus)

What are the symptoms of Bell’s palsy?

Although facial expression and a couple of simple tests can help quickly identify Bell’s palsy, there are symptoms that can warn that a person has this condition.

These symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually develop until the face becomes paralyzed. Some of them are, in addition to weakness on one side of the face:

  • Drooping on one side of the face and difficulty making facial expressions, such as closing one eye or smiling
  • drooling
  • jaw pain
  • Pain inside or behind the ear on the affected side
  • Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
  • Headache
  • Loss of sense of taste
  • Excessive or insufficient production of tears and saliva

This is because, in addition to affecting muscle movement, the facial nerve also influences this type of process (tearing and salivation).

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