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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.

Overview

Bell's palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis which results from damage or trauma to one of the facial nerves. This disorder is characterized by the sudden onset of facial paralysis that often affects just one side and can cause significant facial distortion. Symptoms vary, but may include twitching, weakness, drooping eyelid or corner of the mouth, drooling, dry eye or mouth, impairment of taste, and excessive tearing in the eye. While the exact cause is unknown, many researchers believe that a virus may lead to swelling of the 7th cranial nerve. Steroids, such as prednisone, may reduce the inflammation and swelling.[1][2] Other medications used to treat Bell's palsy include acyclovir (to fight viral infections) and aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen (to relieve pain).[2] Physical therapy, facial massage and acupuncture have also been used.[1][2]

Last updated: 1/22/2016

References

  1. Bell's Palsy. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2005; http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/bells-palsy/.
  2. 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.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Bell's palsy. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
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.