Bell’s Palsy, or facial palsy, is a paralysis or serious weakness of the facial muscles ~ above one side of the face.

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It is thought to be as result of a ede of the nerve the controls the muscle of the face.

It can be worrying, however most world make a complete recovery.

Share on PinterestImage credit: Dr. James Heilman
Bell’s palsy requires a weak or paralysis top top one side of the face. Symptoms often appear first thing one morning. A person wakes up and also finds that one next of their confront does no move.

The person may find that they unexpectedly cannot control their facial muscles, typically on one side. The affected side of the confront tends come droop. The weakness might also influence saliva and tear production, and also the sense of taste.

Many people are afraid they are having a stroke, however if the weakness or paralysis just affects the face, it is much more likely to it is in Bell’s palsy.

Approximately 1 in 5,000 people develop Bell’s palsy each year. It is classed as a fairly rare condition.

In really rare cases, Bell’s palsy can influence both political parties of the face.


The facial nerve controls most of the muscles in the face and also parts of the ear. The face nerve goes through a narrow gap of bone from the mind to the face.

If the facial nerve is inflamed, it will press against the cheekbone or might pinch in the narrow gap. This can an outcome in damage to the protective spanning of the nerve.

If the protective covering of the nerve i do not care damaged, the signals that travel from the mind to the muscles in the face may not betransfer properly, leading to weakened or paralyzed facial muscles. This is Bell’s palsy.

The exact reason why this happens is unclear.

It may result when a virus, generally the herpes virus, inflames the nerve. This is the same virus that reasons cold sores and genital herpes.

Other viruses that have actually been connected to Bell’s palsy include:

coldsores and also genital herpes virusEpstein-Barr virus, or EBV, responsible for mononucleosismumps virushand-foot-and-mouth an illness (coxsackievirus)

Bell’s palsy risk factors

Share on PinterestWomen who room in the critical trimester that their pregnant or who have just provided birth may be at threat from Bell’s palsy.

Some risk determinants have been established.

Links have actually been found in between migraine and also facial and limb weakness. A study lugged out in 2015 discovered that civilization with migraine may have a higher risk that Bell’s palsy.

The condition much more commonly affects:

people age 15 come 60 yearswomen throughout pregnancy, especially in the 3rd trimesterwomen who offered birth less than 1 mainly ago

Bell’s palsy influence men and also women equally.


Most world will recuperate from Bell’s palsy in 1-2 months, particularly those who still have some degree of motion in their facial muscles.

Treatment through a hormone referred to as prednisolone can speed increase recovery. A study discovered that prednisolone, if administered in ~ 72 hours of onset, can substantially reduce symptom severity and also incidence after 12 months.


This steroid reduces inflammation. This helps accelerate the recovery of the impacted nerve. Prednisolone avoids the release of substances in the human body that cause inflammation, such together prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

Patients take it it by mouth, normally two tablets a day because that 10 days.

Possible side results include:

abdominal pain, bloatingdifficulty sleepingdry skinincreased appetiteincreased sweatingmood changesnauseaslow wound healingthinning skin

These side impacts normally get far better after a pair of days.

Share on PinterestAn allergic reaction to prednisolone, such as difficulty breathing, should automatically be report to a medical care professional.

Any allergic reaction come prednisolone should be reported to the medical professional immediately.

Allergy symptoms might include:

breathing difficultiesswelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat

If the patience feels bright or drowsy they need to refrain native driving or operating hefty machinery. Together this symptom might not appear straight away, the is recipient to wait a day prior to driving or operation machinery.

Doctors usually alleviate the dose slowly towards the end of the food of steroid medication. This helps avoid withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting or tiredness.

Eye lubrication

If the patience is no blinking effectively the eye will certainly be exposed and tears will certainly evaporate. Part patients will experience a reduction in tear production. Both may boost the risk of damage or epidemic in the eye.

The doctor might prescribe man-made tears in the form of eye drops and also an ointment. The eye drops space usually taken throughout the waking hours, when the ointment is used before going to sleep.

Patients who cannot close their eye properly during sleep will have to use operation tape to store it shut. Patient who experience worsening eye symptoms have to seek medical assist immediately. If friend cannot acquire hold of your doctor, walk the emergency department of your nearest hospital.


In part cases, one antiviral, such as acyclovir might be taken alongside prednisolone; however, proof that they can assist is weak.

Care in ~ home

Facial exercises: as the facial nerve starts to recover, tightening and also relaxing face muscles can assist strengthen them.

Dental care: If there is small or no emotion in the mouth it is basic for food to build up leading to degeneration or gum disease. Brushing and also flossing can help prevent this.

Problems v eating: If there are obstacles with swallowing, the individual have to chew food well and eat slowly. Picking soft foods, such together yogurt can likewise help.

OTC pains relief: to ease any kind of discomfort.

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The facial nerves manage blinking, opening and closing that the eyes, smiling, salivation, lacrimation (production the tears), and also frowning. They likewise connect with the muscle of the stapes, a bone in the ear affiliated in hearing.

When the face nerve malfunctions, together in Bell’s palsy, the following symptoms deserve to occur:

sudden paralysis/weakness in one next of the facedifficulty closing among the eyelidsirritation in the eye due to the fact that it does no blink and also becomes also drychanges in the quantity of tears the eye producesdrooping in parts of the face, such as one side of the mouthdrooling from one next of the mouthdifficulty v facial expressionssense of taste may become alteredan impacted ear may reason sensitivity to soundpain in prior or behind the ear on the influenced sideheadache