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Bells Palsy

Introduction to Bells Palsy

Bell's palsy (also known as idiopathic facial paralysis) is a condition affecting the facial nerve causing paralysis of the facial muscles on one or both sides of the face. Its onset is usually rapid leading to facial drooping, inability to control the facial muscles and difficulty closing the eyelids. It is thought that the nerve controlling the muscles of face (VII cranial nerve) becomes inflamed in its bony canal which affects the transmission of nerve impulses. Facial weakness can occur in other conditions such as stroke, brain tumours or head trauma. It is only when other causes are excluded that the facial weakness is attributed to Bell's palsy.

The condition in many cases resolves quickly, especially for those with partial paralysis. Drug treatment such as antiviral treatment or steroid treatment may be offered for some patients. Physiotherapy treatment may be indicated to help speed recovery with facial exercises or electrical stimulation.

Bells Palsy

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