Bell's palsy

Common Name(s)

Bell's palsy

Bell's palsy is a condition that affects the nerves in the face and results in weakness of the muscles in the face. Facial nerves carry electrical messages from the brain to the face that tell the muscles to move and help with actions like blinking or smiling. The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is not known, but it usually happens in response to a viral infection, such as the herpes virus or Epstein-Barr virus. The infection causes the facial nerves to swell and become pinched, which stops the messages from being sent correctly to one side of the face. In rare cases, both sides of the face can be affected.

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy develop quickly. In some cases, the affected person wakes up to find they have complete loss of facial muscles (paralysis) while other affected people do not have paralysis until several days after the first symptoms. Symptoms may include difficulty with closing one eye all the way, a droopy appearance to the face, difficulty making facial expressions, dryness in one eye, trouble tasting at the front of the tongue on the affected side, changes in the amount of saliva or drooling, and sensitivity to sound on the affected side. Risk factors for Bell’s palsy include age (older people are more likely to have Bell’s palsy), having a weakened immune system, and pregnancy. Trauma to the face or skull may also cause Bell’s palsy.

There is no specific test for Bell’s palsy. A doctor will typically rule out more severe causes of facial weakness, such as a tumor or stroke, by ordering a test to measure nerve function (electromyography (EMG)) or imaging exams (MRI or CT scan). Most affected individuals recover in a few weeks while only a small amount of people will have symptoms for life. Treatment options include medications, therapy, and surgery. If you have been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, talk to a doctor about the most current treatment options.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Bell's palsy" for support, advocacy or research.

There are currently no organizations listed in Disease InfoSearch that support this condition. Create a listing.

 

 

General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Bell's palsy" returned 126 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Antiviral treatment for Bell's palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis).
 

Author(s): Osvaldo Massaiti Takayanagui

Journal: Sao Paulo Med J. ;133(4):383.

 

Last Updated: 31 Oct 2015

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Are patients with Bell's palsy receiving the right treatment?
 

Author(s): Thomas Berg, Lars Jonsson

Journal:

 

Last Updated: 17 Jun 2015

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Acupuncture for the sequelae of Bell's palsy: a randomized controlled trial.
 

Author(s): Hyo-Jung Kwon, Jun-Yong Choi, Myeong Soo Lee, Yong-Suk Kim, Byung-Cheul Shin, Jong-In Kim

Journal:

 

Incomplete recovery from facial palsy results in social and physical disabilities, and the medical options for the sequelae of Bell's palsy are limited. Acupuncture is widely used for Bell's palsy patients in East Asia, but its efficacy is unclear.

Last Updated: 21 Jul 2015

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Bell's palsy" returned 15 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Efficacy of Acupuncture for Bell's Palsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
 

Author(s): Pingping Li, Tangmeng Qiu, Chao Qin

Journal:

 

Acupuncture has emerged as an alternative therapy for Bell's palsy in both adults and children. However, the use of acupuncture is controversial. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of acupuncture for Bell's palsy. We searched PubMed, Embase, ...

Last Updated: 15 May 2015

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Bell's palsy: a summary of current evidence and referral algorithm.
 

Author(s): Graeme E Glass, Kallirroi Tzafetta

Journal: Fam Pract. 2014 Dec;31(6):631-42.

 

Spontaneous idiopathic facial nerve (Bell's) palsy leaves residual hemifacial weakness in 29% which is severe and disfiguring in over half of these cases. Acute medical management remains the best way to improve outcomes. Reconstructive surgery can improve long term disfigurement. ...

Last Updated: 22 Nov 2014

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The neurologist's dilemma: a comprehensive clinical review of Bell's palsy, with emphasis on current management trends.
 

Author(s): Anthony Zandian, Stephen Osiro, Ryan Hudson, Irfan M Ali, Petru Matusz, Shane R Tubbs, Marios Loukas

Journal:

 

Recent advances in Bell's palsy (BP) were reviewed to assess the current trends in its management and prognosis.

Last Updated: 20 Jan 2014

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

The Relationship Between Psychological Factors and Bell's Palsy
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Bell's Palsy

 

Last Updated: 5 Nov 2011

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Last Updated: 18 Aug 2014

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Last Updated: 6 Aug 2015

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