Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes the muscles of the face to become weak on one side. The weakness is caused by damaged nerves. The specific cause of this nerve damage is not definitively known. Some studies suggest that viral infection may be the root cause of Bell’s palsy. In general, weakness of the facial muscles with no known cause will normally be classified as a case of Bell’s palsy.
Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy
The following symptoms may indicate Bell’s palsy:
- Sound sensitivity;
- Frequent tearing of the eyes;
- Dry eye;
- Decreased sensation in the taste buds;
- Inner ear pain;
- Facial numbness;
- A drooping of the muscles on one side of the face.
Bell’s Palsy Treatment
It is possible to recover from Bell’s palsy without treatment. Recovery usually takes a few months. In some cases, facial muscle weakness becomes permanent. This risk can be lowered by the administration of a corticosteroid. This may sometimes be used in conjunction with an antiviral medicine as well. For persistent cases of Bell’s palsy, surgical techniques exist to restore facial features, most commonly the ability to smile.