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All about Bell's palsy facial nerve causes of Bell's palsy symptoms of Bell's palsy diagnosis of Bell's palsy treatment for Bell's palsy prognosis of Bell's palsy

What causes Bell's palsy?

The exact cause is not known. It is thought that inflammation develops around the facial nerve as it passes through the skull from the brain. The inflammation may compress (squash) the nerve as it passes through the skull. The nerve then

partly, or fully stops working until the inflammation goes. If the nerve stops working, the muscles that the nerve supplies also stop working.

The cause of the inflammation is not known, but it is probably due to a viral infection. There is some evidence that the cold sore virus (herpes simplex virus) causes most cases of Bell's palsy.
When the facial nerve is irritated for any reason, it swells up and presses against the inside of the bony tube. This puts pressure on the nerve, and it can't send the right signals to the muscles in the face, the salivary glands, or the tongue, leading to Bell's palsy. Without those signals, half of a kid's face may seem to freeze. One eye may stay open, even if she's trying to close them both, and one corner of her mouth may look droopy or unhappy, even if she's trying to smile. Bell's palsy then shows up pretty fast.

More information on Bell's palsy

What is Bell's palsy? - Bell's palsy is unilateral facial paralysis of sudden onset due to a lesion of the facial nerve. Bell's palsy is a weakness (paralysis) that affects the muscles of the face.
What is the facial nerve? - The facial nerve carries impulses from the brain to the facial muscles, allowing facial expression and movement.
What causes Bell's palsy? - The exact cause of Bell's palsy is not known. Inflammation develops around the facial nerve as it passes through the skull from the brain.
What're the symptoms of Bell's palsy? - The major symptom of Bell's palsy is one-sided facial weakness or paralysis. Muscle control is either inadequate or completely missing.
How is Bell's palsy diagnosed? - The fact that Bell's palsy is a diagnosis of exclusion becomes apparent in the course of the medical examination.
What's the treatment for Bell's palsy? - Doctors prescribe an antiviral and/or a steroid for Bell's palsy. Prednisone treatment speed recovery and reduce the frequency of a bad result.
What is the prognosis of Bell's palsy? - Most individuals with Bell's palsy begin to notice improvement in their condition within 2-3 weeks of the symptoms' onset.
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