Doctor insights on:
Pain Associated With Bell's Palsy
Loss of nerve action: Bell's palsy is from dysfunction of the seventh cranial nerve which activates the muscles of the face. It usually occurs suddenly, rarely has pain, but causes the eyelids, facial side and mouth to droop. Most are self limited but can take up to 6 months to improve. A few last and need surgery to correct the changes in the eye and the eating problems from the droopy mouth.
...is a corruption of French "paralise" from Latinized Greek "paralysis." In the old days it meant any kind of persistent weakness. To this day Parkinson's disease is also called "paralysis agitans" which is a Latin translation of Dr. Parkinson's original name for it, the "shaking palsy." We've obviously reborrowed the full form "paralysis" into English as well; today ...Read more
Facial paralysis: Sudden onset of one-sided paralysis or weakness of facial muscles (usually onset in minutes or hours) which may be associated with reduced blinking from one eye, excessive tear production, altered speech and swallowing, ringing in the ear, sensitivity to loud noise, altered taste, prickly numb facial sensations, ear pain.
Facial nerve paralys: Bell's palsy is a viral infection that causes the facial nerve to no longer function. It can lead to weakness or paralysis of one side of the face. If treated early with high-dose steroids the paralysis does not last as long and the damage is not as permanent. An evaluation is important because you have to make sure other problems are not causing the paralysis.See 1 more doctor answer
Viral infection: Bell's palsy is one reason people develop facial paralysis. True bell's palsy is felt to be caused by a viral infection of the facial nerve leading to swelling of the nerve and damage to it caused by decreased blood flow. Steroids are very helpful in treating this. Some people incorrectly term facial paralysis "bell's palsy." this is not correct, you must exclude other causes of facial paralysis.See 2 more doctor answers
Probably a virus: Bell's palsy is weakness of the facial muscles. It is considered by many to be caused by a viral infection of the facial nerve - although that is not certain. It is important to rule out other causes of facial paralysis such a tumor growth or a stroke before arriving at the diagnosis of bell's palsy. Anyone with facial weakness or paralysis should have a complete medical evaluation by a specialist.See 1 more doctor answer
Yes, but...: Bell's palsy is known as idiopathic facial paralysis. By definition, that means we don't know what caused it. All other causes of facial paralysis should be investigated first. Brain tumors, strokes, and a syndrome called melkersson- rosenthal syndrome should be evaluated for.See 1 more doctor answer
Not very: Bells palsy is not as uncommon as is generally believed. Worldwide statistics set the frequency at just over. 02% of the population (with geographical variations). In human terms this is 1 of every 5000 people over the course of a lifetime and 40, 000 americans every year. (courtesy of the bells palsy web site).See 1 more doctor answer
Couple of ways: Treatments for bell's palsy include ensuring protection for your eyes [make sure that they are kept moist and protected]. Sometimes physicians will prescribe steroids [to reduce possible swelling] or antivirals [if it is suspected that the bell's palsy was triggered by a virus]. If you suspect that you have bell's palsy, see your doctor to determine the right course of treatment.See 2 more doctor answers
No: Bell's palsy is thought to be due to a viral infection of the facial nerve. Other causes include lyme's disease and sarcoidosis but its is not passed down from one generation to the next. That is not to say that you would not see bell's palsy in a parent and years latter in their child. Bell's palsy rarely is seen bilaterally, if so it is diagnostic of multiple scerosis.See 1 more doctor answer
Exam and tests: Bell's palsy is facial weakness or paralysis that is thought to be caused by a viral infection. It is diagnosed by the medical history and on physical exam. Many times additional testing such as a cat or MRI scan will be used to rule out other causes such a a tumor growth.See 1 more doctor answer
Variable: The course of bell's palsy varies from person to person. It is thought to be due to a viral infection that causes swelling in the facial nerve and leads to weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles. This can occur over the course of hours or days. Fortunately, most people recover normal facial function but this can be permanent.See 1 more doctor answer