About This Condition
Bell’s palsy is a disorder of the nerve that controls certain muscles of the face.
People with Bell’s palsy lose control of some or all of the muscles on one half of the face; consequently, the face looks asymmetrical. Rarely are both sides of the face affected. The cause is unknown, and the disorder usually resolves without treatment within six to twelve months.
People with diabetes or hypertension have greater-than-average risk for Bell’s palsy.1,2,3 While no research has investigated whether better control of these conditions may help prevent Bell’s palsy, people with Bell’s palsy should be checked for diabetes and hypertension, especially if the palsy occurs repeatedly or affects both sides of the face.
Some common symptoms of Bell’s palsy include a rapid onset of weakness, numbness, heaviness, or paralysis of one side of the face. People with Bell’s palsy may also have symptoms of pain behind the ear, inability to completely close one eye, drooling, and speech difficulties.
Skin tape or an eye patch may be used to help the eye stay closed and lubricated. Difficult cases may require a surgical procedure in which the eyelids are stitched together.