Bernadette Sembrano has Bell's Palsy

Posted at 07/12/11 6:13 PM

Broadcast journalist Bernadette Sembrano thanked her fans for their wishes and prayers for her recovery.


MANILA, Philippines - Broadcast journalist Bernadette Sembrano disclosed that she has Bell's Palsy and is now undergoing therapy.

In her Twitter account @Bernadette_ABS, Sembrano revealed it first manifested on "TV Patrol," and during a live airing of her public affairs show "Salamat Dok," her ear became sensitive.

"@DoctorJas nagmanifest during patrol. Sdok naman, sensitive na ear ko. Signs na pala ng bell's. Went monday agad," she tweeted last July 6.

Sembrano described her symptoms: "uncomfortable right ear, then feeling ko my eye was twitching. Sometimes biglaan."

She also said she is recovering well as it was detected early.

"@rojan88 naagapan kaya very good recovery ako. Very early detection in 24 hrs. Still going through therapy and acupuncture," Sembrano tweeted on July 6.

Her treatment program includes physical therapy thrice a week; acupuncture, massage and hot compress every day; and facial exercises 3 to 5 times a day. She is also taking vitamin B and steroids.

Many of her Twitter followers asked how she contracted it.

Sembrano said it is not hereditary and anyone can get it.

She added that "Western medicine sometimes say viral. Eastern, lamig sa mukha."

Sembrano said rehabilitation medicine doctors have noticed that it is common among people who usually stand in front of the electric fan or air conditioner after having come from a warm place.

"I was in davao last week super hot. My hunch. Common dring cold," she tweeted.

Facial nerve

According to MayoClinic.com, a swollen or inflamed facial nerve controlling the muscles causes Bell's Palsy.

The symptoms include facial droop, one-sided smile, pain around the jaw or in and behind the ear, and an eye that resists closing.

Anyone can have it, but it usually affects people aged 15 to 60. It added that a virus, usually herpes simplex, commonly causes Bell's Palsy.

The website added that symptoms improve in a few weeks, and recovery usually takes 3 to 6 months.

As symptoms mimic those of a stroke, people should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Journalist Howie Severino also suffered from Bell's Palsy in 2008. He wrote in his blog that he got it the day after he dived at night.


Many Twitter users wished Sembrano a fast recovery.

A netizen by the name of logbilogbi posted on Twitter: "@Bernadette_ABS Ms. Bernadette get well soon po. I miss your beautiful smile. :) God bless!"

A user named reneslazo tweeted: "I did not read tweet of Ms Bernadette Sembrano being sick one my favorite newscaster who works hard at helping indigent folks get well soon."

And zaraboijm wrote: "•• Awww! Bernadette Sembrano is suffering from Bell's palsy condition. Let's pray for her fast recovery. "

Sembrano is very much grateful for all the greetings and prayers for her recovery.

"Thank you sooooo much for all your greetings !!! I feel your love and concern :)," she posted.

"Hindi man makita sa labi ko, nakangiti po ang puso ko sa pag-aalala at pagmamahal ninyo. :D," Sembrano added.