The exact cause of Bell Palsy is not known. It is thought to be a result of an infection that affects a nerve. Herpes simplex virus and Lyme disease are some examples.
Symptoms may start all at once or get worse over 48 hours. Problems may be:
- Twitching, weakness, or paralysis, most often on one side
- Drooping corner of the mouth
- Drooping eye or problems closing an eye, which can lead to dry eye
- Excess tears from an eye
- Loss of taste
- Sensitivity to sounds
- Pain in the jaw or ear
Bell palsy can get better on its own within a few weeks. Full healing may take 3 to 6 months. Treatment may be needed to manage more severe symptoms. Choices are:
- Corticosteroids to ease swelling
- Eye care, such as:
- Lubricant or eye drops
- Covering and taping the eyelid closed at night
- An eye patch to keep the eyelid closed
- Facial exercise therapy
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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