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Bell's Palsy

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Summary

Bell's palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis. It usually affects just one side of the face. Symptoms appear suddenly and are at their worst about 48 hours after they start. They can range from mild to severe and include

  • Twitching
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Drooping eyelid or corner of mouth
  • Drooling
  • Dry eye or mouth
  • Excessive tearing in the eye
  • Impaired ability to taste

Scientists think that a viral infection makes the facial nerve swell or become inflamed. You are most likely to get Bell's palsy if you are pregnant, diabetic or sick with a cold or flu.

Three out of four patients improve without treatment. With or without treatment, most people begin to get better within 2 weeks and recover completely within 3 to 6 months.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Start Here

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in
  • (UpToDate)

Symptoms

  • (American Academy of Ophthalmology) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (American Academy of Ophthalmology) Also in
  • (American Academy of Neurology) - PDF

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

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