The facial nerve passes through a narrow gap of bone near the upper jaw on its way from the brain to the face. The condition is named after Sir Charles Bell, who first described the condition. The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Bell’s palsy as a symptom. You should protect your eye if you cannot close your eyelids fully. In contrast to other potential causes of facial paralysis such as stroke, tumors or middle ear lesions, this condition is often referred to as idiopathic, which means a specific cause cannot be pinpointed. Still, herpes simplex virus (HSV) has become accepted as the likely cause of Bell’s palsy. Pregnancy.
These symptoms include twitching, weakness, or paralysis, drooping eyelid or corner of the mouth, drooling, dry eye or mouth, impairment of taste, and excessive tearing in the eye. The condition involves the forehead and lower aspect of the face, and patients are often unable to keep an eye closed or to retain food in the affected side of the mouth. Inappropriate reaction to loud noises, taste disturbances and decreased tearing also represent some of the concomitant symptoms of this disease. The most important step in diagnosis is to determine whether facial paralysis occurred due to a problem in the central nervous system (as in stroke) or is it actually Bell’s palsy. Only the lower facial muscles are affected in stroke patients, while Bell’s palsy is characterized by the paralysis of both the upper and lower parts of the face. Apart from such facial paralysis, symptoms arise within several days and usually subside within 6 weeks. Pain in or behind your ear.
One side of the face might droop or feel stiff. Corticosteroids are often used to treat Bell’s palsy, as they proved helpful in reducing inflammation of the nerve and shortening symptom duration; the key is to use them shortly after onset to attain the desired effect. Antiviral medications are sometimes added to the therapy regimen, and surgical nerve decompression is pursued in more challenging cases. Although a majority of affected individuals recover completely and spontaneously over time, some patients can be left with lifelong consequences.