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How do you treat Bell's palsy?

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Treatments for Bell's palsy often include medications, physical therapy and home care treatments, Mayo Clinic explains. Doctors sometimes use plastic surgery to treat severe cases. The medications include corticosteroids, which reduce the inflammation of the facial nerve, and antiviral drugs. The major goal of physical therapy for Bell's palsy is to learn massage techniques to prevent permanent contracture of muscles in the face. Home remedies include protecting and moistening an eye that cannot close and taking non-prescription pain relievers.

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The antiviral medications doctors often prescribe to treat individuals with Bell's palsy are for the viral infections suspected of causing the condition, but doctors are not certain of the cause of the condition or the effectiveness of the drugs as of 2015, explains Mayo Clinic. Viruses associated with Bell's palsy include chickenpox, German measles, mumps, herpes and influenza.

Bell's palsy most likely occurs when the nerve that controls the muscle on one side of the face becomes inflamed. The onset is usually sudden and causes a visible drooping of one side of the face. The condition is usually temporary, and it often starts to improve within a few weeks. Most cases resolve completely within six months. In a few cases, however, Bell's palsy is permanent.

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