It can occur when the nerve that controls your facial muscles becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed. The condition causes one side of your face to droop or become stiff. You may have difficulty smiling or closing your eye on the affected side. They usually appear abruptly, and you may notice them when you wake up in the morning or when you try to eat or drink. Call your doctor immediately if you develop any of these symptoms. The symptoms can be similar to those of other serious conditions, such as a stroke or brain tumor.
What are the causes of Bell's palsy?
Bell's palsy: Causes, treatment, and symptoms
Bell's palsy is a type of facial paralysis that results in a temporary inability to control the facial muscles on the affected side of the face. Typically symptoms come on over 48 hours. The cause of Bell's palsy is unknown. The condition normally gets better by itself with most achieving normal or near-normal function. Bell's palsy is characterized by a one-sided facial droop that comes on within 72 hours. The facial nerve controls a number of functions, such as blinking and closing the eyes , smiling , frowning , lacrimation , salivation , flaring nostrils and raising eyebrows.
It occurs when a condition, such as a viral infection, causes inflammation and swelling of the seventh cranial nerve the nerve that controls facial muscles. These effects typically last several months and go away without treatment. The condition gets its name from Sir Charles Bell, a Scottish surgeon who first described it during the 19th century.
Back to Health A to Z. Bell's palsy is temporary weakness or lack of movement affecting 1 side of the face. Most people get better within 9 months. It's important to see a GP as soon as possible after developing these symptoms.