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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Bell's palsy


Other Names for this Disease
  • Facial palsy
  • Facial cranial nerve paralysis
  • Bell palsy
  • Antoni's palsy
  • Facial nerve palsy
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Treatment

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How might Bell's palsy be treated?

Some cases of Bell's palsy are mild and do not require treatment.[1][2] In these cases, symptoms may subside on their own within 2 weeks.[2] For those cases that do require treatment, steroids such as prednisone have been used with success to reduce inflammation and swelling.  Other medications such as acyclovir --used to fight viral infections -- may shorten the course of the disease.  Analgesics such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may relieve pain. Because of possible drug interactions, patients should always talk to their doctors before taking any over-the-counter medicines. Keeping the eye moist and protected from debris and injury is important. Other therapies such as physical therapy, facial massage or acupuncture may also be used.[3][2] In general, decompression surgery for Bell's palsy is controversial and is seldom recommended.[2]

Last updated: 1/24/2016

References
  1. Bell's Palsy. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2005; http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/bells-palsy/.
  2. Bell's Palsy Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). April 16, 2015; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/bells/detail_bells.htm.
  3. NINDS Bell's Palsy Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). April 16, 2015; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/bells/bells.htm.


GARD Video Tutorial

  • Finding Treatment Information - A video developed by GARD Information Specialists that explains how you can find information about treatment for a rare disease.

    Finding Treatment Information

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Bell's palsy. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Facial palsy
  • Facial cranial nerve paralysis
  • Bell palsy
  • Antoni's palsy
  • Facial nerve palsy
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.