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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is Bell's palsy?
Bell's palsy is a sudden weakness, drooping or paralysis of some of the facial muscles. It usually occurs on one side of the face. Although the symptoms can be similar to those in a stroke, Bell's palsy is not a stroke.
What causes Bell's palsy?
Bell's palsy occurs because the facial nerve is inflamed and compressed. Exactly what causes this inflammation is not completely understood. It is thought that in many cases, it may be due to an infection with a virus such as Herpes simplex type 1 (which causes …
What are the symptoms of Bell's palsy?
The symptoms of Bell's palsy can be similar to a number of other conditions, some of which, such as stroke, are very serious. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible, once symptoms are noticed, is important to rule out serious conditions and to …
How is Bell's palsy diagnosed?
Because the symptoms of Bell's palsy are similar to a number of other conditions that can cause sudden weakness in the facial muscles, part of diagnosing Bell's is to rule out these conditions. These condition include stroke, Lyme disease and head or skull …
Who gets Bell's palsy?
Bell's palsy can happen to anyone at any age, although it's less common in children under 15 years of age and in people over 60 years of age. Bell's palsy occurs in men and women equally. Bell's palsy occurs more commonly in women who are pregnant. people with …
How is Bell's palsy treated?
Most people will recover fully from Bell's palsy without treatment. However, medications that reduce inflammation and swelling and help with eye care can help improve the chance of full recovery, reduce the time it takes for recovery to occur, reduce …
Can Bell's palsy return?
Bell's palsy occurs again in about 10% of people who have had an episode. It can occur on the same side of the face or on the other side.
How long do the symptoms of Bell's palsy last?
The symptoms of Bell's palsy can start to improve within weeks or months. In some cases it can take up to a year to make a complete recovery. However, there may be long-term complications that affect about one in ten people. These can include …
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 19 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 978 (Click smiley face below to rate)