What is Bell’s Palsy ?
Bell’s palsy is a condition that includes rapid weakness in facial muscles. For most cases, the condition is temporary and improved over weeks. The weakness of facial muscle causes half of patient’s face appears to drop, one sided smile and inability to close the eye from that side.
Bell’s palsy is also known as acute peripheral facial palsy. The exact cause of weakness in facial muscle is still unknown, but it can occur at all ages. However, it is believed that the weakness is caused by following two. One could be the result of inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve, which carries electrical signals between the brain and facial muscles. The other one could be a reaction of viral infection.
Bell’s palsy is temporary for most cases. Usually within weeks, the muscle weakness will start to improve and completely recover in half of a year.
Rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of the face
Facial droop and difficulty to make facial expression, such as closing eyes or smiling
Pain around the jaw or in or behind the ears on the affected side
Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
Loss of taste
Changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce
See A Doctor
See a doctor when you experience any type of paralysis because you may have a stroke. Although Bell’s palsy is not caused by a stroke, the symptoms are similar. Typically, most cases recover fully with or without treatment and surgery is rarely an option for Bell’s palsy. Go to visit your GP when you experience facial weakness or drooping to seek underlying causes and severity of the illness.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, April 2). Bell’s palsy. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bells-palsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20370028.