Bell's palsy is paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. Often people with Bell's palsy have a droop on one side of the mouth and have trouble completely shutting the eye on the same side. Bell's palsy can also interfere with the sense of taste. These things happen when a nerve in your face becomes inflamed. Bell's palsy is not caused by a stroke. The cause of the nerve inflammation is not known. But some experts think that a virus may cause it. Because of this, doctors sometimes prescribe antiviral medicine to treat it. You also may get medicine to reduce swelling.
Bell's palsy usually gets better on its own in a few weeks or months.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter P168 in the search box to learn more about "Bell's Palsy: Care Instructions."
Current as of:
October 14, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.