Bell's palsy, also known as facial palsy, can occur at any age. It can be defined as a sudden weakness in one’s facial muscles causing half of his/her face appear to droop. Smiling is one-sided, and the eye on that side tends to resist closing. Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve causing an inability to control facial muscles on the affected side of one’s face. Due to the eye on the affected side resisting to close, the eye must be protected from drying up. If the eye dries up the cornea may be permanently damaged, resulting in impaired vision.
With Bell's palsy, the nerve that controls your facial muscles, which passes through a narrow corridor of bone on its way to your face, becomes…show more content… Symptoms usually start to improve within a few weeks, with complete recovery in about six months. A small number of people continue to have some Bell's palsy symptoms for life. Rarely, Bell's palsy can recur. It is thought that an inflammation from an infection leads to swelling of the facial nerve. The nerve travels through the skull in a narrow bone canal beneath the ear. Nerve swelling and compression in the narrow bone canal are thought to lead to nerve inhibition or damage. Rapid onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of your face — occurring within hours to days. Symptoms include: facial droop and difficulty making facial expressions, such as closing your eye or smiling, drooling, pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side, increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side, chronic headaches, a decrease in your ability to taste, and changes in the amount of tears and saliva you produce. In rare cases, Bell's palsy can affect the nerves on both sides of your face. Although the exact reason Bell's palsy occurs isn't clear, it's often linked to exposure to a viral infection. Viruses that have been linked to Bell's palsy include the virus that causes: cold sores and genital herpes, chickenpox and shingles, mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus infectious, respiratory illnesses, German measles, mumps, flu, and hand-foot-and-mouth…show more content… A stroke will usually cause a few additional symptoms, such as numbness or weakness in the arms and legs. And unlike Bell's palsy, a stroke will usually let patients control the upper part of their faces. A person with a stroke will usually have some wrinkling of their forehead.
It is thought that as a result of inflammation of the facial nerve, pressure is produced on the nerve where it exits the skull within its bony canal, blocking the transmission of neural signals or damaging the nerve. Patients with facial palsy for which an underlying cause can be found are not considered to have Bell's palsy per se. possible causes include tumor, meningitis, stroke, diabetes mellitus, head trauma and inflammatory diseases of the cranial nerves. In these conditions, the neurologic findings are rarely restricted to the facial nerve. Babies can be born with facial