Q:

What is Bell's palsy?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, Bell's palsy refers to sudden paralysis or weakness of facial muscles, making one side of the face look like it is drooping. Smiles become one-sided, with the eye of the affected side having resistance to closing. Bell's palsy may also be referred to as facial palsy.

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What is Bell's palsy?
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Full Answer

According to WebMD, the exact cause of Bell's palsy is uncertain. However, most cases of the condition are believed to be linked to the herpes virus responsible for causing cold sores. The nerve responsible for muscle control on one side of the face is damaged by inflammation in the majority of Bell's palsy cases.

According to Mayo Clinic, Bell's palsy is only temporary for most people, with symptoms getting better within a few weeks, and total recovery within about six months.

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