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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 is the facial nerve?

The facial nerve carries impulses from the brain to the facial muscles, allowing facial expression and movement. In addition, portions of the facial nerve activate the tear glands, the salivary glands, a tiny ear muscle, and carry taste sensations from the tongue back to the brain. When the nerve impulses to the facial nerve are interrupted, any or all of these functions may be affected. Facial nerve, sends messages from the brain to the face. Through these messages, the facial nerve controls the muscles of your face and forehead. This means that any expressions you make - like raising your eyebrows, squeezing your eyes shut, smiling, or showing your teeth - are all controlled by the facial nerve. The facial nerve also helps your body make saliva (spit) and tears and helps you taste your favorite foods, like pizza or ice cream. Each side of your face has its own facial nerve. The facial nerve starts in the brain and runs through a narrow tube of bone and out to the face from behind the ear. From there it splits into smaller branches of nerves that attach to the muscles of the face. Other small nerve branches run to the glands that make saliva, the glands that make tears, and the front of the tongue.

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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