Bell's palsy - Symptom
Facial palsy; Idiopathic peripheral facial palsy; Cranial mononeuropathy
Sometimes you may have a cold shortly before the symptoms of Bell's palsy begin.
Symptoms most often start suddenly, but may take 2 - 3 days to show up. They do not become more severe after that.
Symptoms are almost always on one side only. They may range from mild to severe.
The face will feel stiff or pulled to one side, and may look different. Other symptoms can include:
- Difficulty eating and drinking; food falls out of one side of the mouth
- Drooling due to lack of control over the muscles of the face
- Drooping of the face, such as the eyelid or corner of the mouth
- Hard to close one eye
- Problems smiling, grimacing, or making facial expressions
- Twitching or weakness of the muscles in the face
Other symptoms that may occur:
- Dry eye or mouth
- Loss of sense of taste
- Sound that is louder in one ear (hyperacusis)
- Twitching in face
Signs and tests:
Often, Bell's palsy can be diagnosed just by taking a health history and doing a complete physical exam.
If your health care provider is worried that a brain tumor is causing your symptoms, you may need:
Sometimes, you will need a test to check the nerves that supply the muscles of your face:
- Reviewed last on: 7/12/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Anatomy, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
de Almeida JR, Al Khabori M, Guyatt GH, Witterick IJ, Lin VY, Nedzelski JM, et al. Combined corticosteroid and antiviral treatment for Bell palsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2009;302:985-993.
Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 446.
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