Jump to content
helplinedonate
  • Announcements

    • ForumAdmin

      Frequently Asked Questions - Step by step guides

      Do you need assistance registering, logging in, posting, etc? Please visit the all new Frequently Asked Question Forum for step-by-step guides. Click the link below to access these helpful guides. Frequently Asked Questions
    • ForumAdmin

      Recursos Nuevos en Español

      http://www.parkinson.org/ayuda   http://www.parkinson.org/espanol    
    • ForumAdmin

      Línea de Ayuda 1-800-473-4636

      Línea de Ayuda 1-800-473-4636   ¿Qué es la línea de ayuda 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) de la Fundación Nacional de Parkinson? Es un número de teléfono gratuito que ayuda a las personas con la enfermedad de Parkinson, sus familiares, amigos y profesionales de salud, a solucionar diferentes inquietudes.   La línea de ayuda ofrece: Información actualizada Apoyo emocional Referidos a profesionales de salud Recursos comunitarios Amplia variedad de publicaciones gratis    
MusicMan

Question on Facial Mask

Recommended Posts

MusicMan    769

I don't understand the symptom of "facial mask". Do those of you that have it, can you NOT smile if you really want to? Do your facial muscles just not work, or do you lack the ability to control them?

If you CAN change your expression (with some effort) do you TRY, or is it just easier to not worry about it and go with the blank expression?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PatriotM    797

In my opinion, the decrease in dopamine over many years causes a lack of muscle tone in the face.  I can smile.  The muscles in my face work just fine.  However, it now takes a conscious effort to hold the normal muscle posture in the face as opposed to it being automatic in a normal person.  I have to feel like I'm smiling to just have a normal looking face.

 

In addition, it's my observation that PWP don't move their heads like a normal person.  They tend to stare straight ahead.

Edited by PatriotM
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quietstill    450

PatriotM is right.  It's the little tiny face muscles that are stilled.  Smiles are still there, but the eyes aren't as crinkled.  Our expressiveness is marked by dozens of little tiny muscles.  Without the little muscles supporting the act of smiling, frowning, showing interest, the entire expressive act goes flat.  Hard to see on your own face, but people around you may comment that you look tired, sad, angry.  If someone is getting comments about their emotions that don't match their feelings, facial masking is probably present.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MusicMan    769

Well, there is a guy at the YMCA I go to that obviously has PD (although I haven't talked to him to confirm it). He has the facial mask thing going on, but I was just wondering why he doesn't at least TRY to smile or change his expression...even when someone is talking to him. For 30 minutes, while all this stuff is going on around him, and people talking with him, his face never changes. I would like to hope that I would TRY to force my face into different expressions, but I guess only the future can tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu States    83

you can ( well, i can ) make it all work, but it takes thought and effort........and then when i finish, everything just goes lax again.    holding up a big smile ( i find in order to not look " upset " or " depressed " ) the smile needs to be HUGE........ it just takes A  LOT  of tiring work.....so i " flash " when i pass people or whatever............

 

by the way, i started noticing how in mkts, banks, restaurants etc, all of a sudden the " worker " would lean over and holler out that someone would be right with me.  after about 100 times, i realized i looked like i was annoyed ( everything hanging ), and then would have to do the big smile and say i was just fine.......

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PatriotM    797

Well, there is a guy at the YMCA I go to that obviously has PD (although I haven't talked to him to confirm it). He has the facial mask thing going on, but I was just wondering why he doesn't at least TRY to smile or change his expression...even when someone is talking to him. For 30 minutes, while all this stuff is going on around him, and people talking with him, his face never changes. I would like to hope that I would TRY to force my face into different expressions, but I guess only the future can tell.

He probably hasn't ever thought about it.

 

When you go to a neurologist or MDS and get diagnosed with PD, what does the doctor do?  He gives you a prescription for an agonist or Sinemet and if you have a really good doctor, he may mention exercise.  Does he give you a specific exercise plan?  Does he tell you about neuroplasticity?  Does he encourage you to swing your arm?  Does he encourage you to smile?  No, no, no, and no.  Modern medicine is about taking a pill, not practicing your smile in front of the mirror.

Edited by PatriotM
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MusicMan    769

I agree about doctors, but he was with his wife (or girlfriend/ friend). Surely she would tell him to try and smile. I know MY wife would tell me 5000 times a day.

This guy didn't look mad or upset....he just looked really vacant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
swva    81

I think that people with facial masking do not realize that their face is not showing expression. Just another thing that people with PD have to work for, while it comes naturally to others. On a positive note, we shouldn't need Botox for our wrinkled foreheads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveN    425

My family corrects me all the time when out in public. They're concerned someone is going to get upset with me because it looks like I'm staring. Most of the time it's because I've just zoned out for a second.

 

Dave

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
camt68    0

Since changing from Mirapex to CL, I have noticed that in the evenings when I am "off", it looks like the muscles around my mouth are drooping. During the day when I am "on", I don't see the drooping, but I do look different especially when I see myself in photos. My cheeks really puff out when I smile. I'm wondering if it is from the meds. I have been told by my doctors that I don't have the facial masking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Golden01    330

I don't think people with PD know that their face is "masked". Telling them to just smile is a little bit like telling them to stop their tremor. Sometimes they can, sometimes they can't. Looking back at pictures, I can see the facial masking in my husband's face a few years before he was diagnosed. It wasn't so much as not smiling (because he was smiling) but that his face looked very "posed" like he was really trying hard to smile. Voice therapy and facial exercises may help some but I feel facial masking impairs good communication so very much. I remember one wife of a PD patient telling me, "what I miss the most is his smile". Brings tears to my eyes even now. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't know I had masking (mild, I think) until my neuro asked me questions pertaining to it. Since then, I am much more conscientious about smiling  when greeting clients. Several of my regulars had previously said things like, "Smile," "I hope you feel better," "Are you OK?" I had no idea why until I was diagnosed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
afroney    124

Well, there is a guy at the YMCA I go to that obviously has PD (although I haven't talked to him to confirm it). He has the facial mask thing going on, but I was just wondering why he doesn't at least TRY to smile or change his expression...even when someone is talking to him. For 30 minutes, while all this stuff is going on around him, and people talking with him, his face never changes. I would like to hope that I would TRY to force my face into different expressions, but I guess only the future can tell.

I have a permanant, trademark scowl due to facial masking. It takes a lot of work to smile.

 

It comes with stage 3+ Parkinson's.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
djack1012    53

I did not know I had it either.. Till neurologist pointed it out. Explains funny looks i get from people sometimes. My DW thought I was just lost in thought.. Who knew?!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
adams234    238

I didn't think I was having issues with facial masking either. Then I was in a group photo and I remember thinking big smile and I a looked at it and I was expressionless. Now my husband tells me when ever we are getting our picture done to think "dog fart" makes me laugh every time.

 

Odd thing is I feel like my face is making the expression I want, then some one will walk up to me at work and ask if everything is ok or if I am feeling alright. Then I remind myself to work at making my face move again. Kinda sucks, but such is life with PD.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
coacht    95

My wife had facial masking start several years ago. She tries to smile and the corners of her mouth go down and not up. It looks like the painting, "The Scream". Immediately after DBS her smile came back. it is now gone again a year later. I met one guy at a meeting whose face did not move at all as far as expression goes. His wife said if he gets really excited one eyebrow moves a bit. He would be a great poker player if so inclined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MusicMan    769

I do think we need to exercise our faces to keep the muscles active.

Open your mouth as big as possible. Now smile BIG!!!!! Feel all those muscles straining? Do that 10 times for 5 seconds, at least 3 times every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miracleseeker    668

I do think we need to exercise our faces to keep the muscles active.

Open your mouth as big as possible. Now smile BIG!!!!! Feel all those muscles straining? Do that 10 times for 5 seconds, at least 3 times every day.

I think that works for double chins too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MusicMan    769

I think that works for double chins too.

Yes...it's actually an exercise for tightening your facial muscles, but I bet it would work well for the "masking" muscles too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
adams234    238

If they look at you like your a zoombie, just turn and say "I sure would like to taste your brain".

 

 

Drops the mic...... and shuffels off to the corner.

Edited by adams234
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×