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Bell's palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to the facial nerves. The facial nerve-also called the 7th cranial nerve-travels through a narrow, bony canal (called the Fallopian canal) in the skull, beneath the ear, to the muscles on each side of the face. For most of its journey, the nerve is encased in this bony shell.

Symptoms of Bell's Palsy :
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face that causes it to droop. This is the main symptom. It may make it hard for to close the eye on that side of the face.
  • Eye problems, such as excessive tearing or a dry eye.
  • Drooling.
  • Pain in or behind the ear.
  • Loss of ability to taste.
  • Numbness in the affected side of your face.
  • Increased sensitivity to sound.


Causes of Bell's Palsy :

Temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in one side of the face. It is the most common cause of facial paralysis.

Other causes of facial paralysis include:
  • Congenital facial palsy – children born with facial weakness.
  • Injury from surgery – which is most common during surgery of the parotid gland and neck.
  • Injury to the facial nerve in an accident – such as a cut to the cheek or skull base fracture.

Complications

Around three in 10 people with Bell’s palsy will continue to experience weakness in their facial muscles, and two in 10 will be left with a more serious long-term problem.

Complications include:
  • Persistent facial weakness
  • Eye problems
  • Difficulty with speech, eating and drinking
  • Reduced sense of taste
  • Facial muscle twitching
Bell's palsy may reoccur in up to 14% of people, especially if there is a family history of the condition.
 
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