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.

 

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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 131 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Prognostic factors of Bell's palsy and Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
 

Author(s): Zhengyi Cai, Huijing Li, Xun Wang, Xiaoting Niu, Peiqi Ni, Wanli Zhang, Bei Shao

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Jan;96(2):e5898.

 

The aim of this study was to compare clinical characteristics, electroneurography (ENoG) results, and functional outcomes of patients with Bell's palsy (BP) and Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS).Around 57 patients with BP and 23 patients with RHS were enrolled in this study from January ...

Last Updated: 12 Jan 2017

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A general practice approach to Bell's palsy.
 

Author(s): Nga T Phan, Benedict Panizza, Benjamin Wallwork

Journal: Aust Fam Physician. 2016 Nov;45(11):794-797.

 

Bell's palsy is characterised by an acute onset of unilateral, lower motor neuron weakness of the facial nerve in the absence of an identifiable cause. Establishing the correct diagnosis is imperative and choosing the correct treatment options can optimise the likelihood of recovery.

Last Updated: 2 Nov 2016

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Needle Sensation and Personality Factors Influence Therapeutic Effect of Acupuncture for Treating Bell's Palsy: A Secondary Analysis of a Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial.
 

Author(s): Chen-Yan Zhang, Sha-Bei Xu, Bo Huang, Peng Du, Gui-Bin Zhang, Xiang Luo, Guang-Ying Huang, Min-Jie Xie, Zong-Kui Zhou, Wei Wang

Journal: Chin. Med. J.. 2016 Aug;129(15):1789-94.

 

It has not been solved what kind of needle sensation might influence outcomes of acupuncture treatment. Effects of personality factors on the therapeutic effect of acupuncture have not been investigated. This study aimed to find the effects of the traits of personality on the objective ...

Last Updated: 25 Jul 2016

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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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[Residual states in 30 percent of adult patients with Bell's palsy. Early treatment with cortisone improves the healing process].
 

Author(s): Thomas Berg, Anna Stjernquist-Desatnik, Mervi Kanerva, Malou Hultcrantz, Mats Engström, Lars Jonsson

Journal:

 

Bell's palsy is an acute unilateral weakness or paralysis of the face of unknown cause. The incidence of the disease is 30 individuals per 100,000 per year. It is a diagnosis of exclusion and other known causes for acute peripheral facial palsy must be ruled out. The prognosis is ...

Last Updated: 14 Jan 2015

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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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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Virtual Rehabilitation Program in Peripheral Facial Paralysis
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Unilateral Peripheral Facial Paralysis

 

Last Updated: 27 Jun 2017

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Last Updated: 13 Apr 2017

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Last Updated: 16 Aug 2016

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