Bell's palsy or paralysis is also called idiopathic facial paralysis. This entity does not include facial paralyses of other origin, such as after trauma, tumor or after surgery. Its cause is unknown. It could occur due to microcirculatory disturbances that lead to edema of facial nerve within the bone canal the nerve goes through. As a consequence, that causes increased pressure affecting the nerve, insufficient blood supply and paresis. This palsy heals spontaneously in some 80% of all cases, but in many cases it takes months of uncertainty before any result would occur.

Standard therapy includes steroids, blockage of facial nerve, vitamins and physiotherapy. Surgical method in the treatment of Bell's palsy is aimed to decompress the nerve from the bone canal. Mild or more severe residua would be apparent in some 20 or 30% of all cases, even after a prolonged treatment.

HBOT corrects hypoxia, lessens tissue edema thus leading to decompression of facial nerve in the bone canal, and maintains necessary oxygenation level until the termination of the pathological process. HBOT is always recommended with physiotherapy, since the percentage of the cured after such therapeutic approach is greater. The treatment should be commenced as soon as possible, but the best results are achieved if HBOT is started within 7 to 10 days.

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