What Are Treatment Options for Bell's Palsy?

Bell's palsy may be treated with corticosteroids such as prednisone, which reduces the inflammation of the facial nerve affected by the condition, explains Drugs.com. It can also help reduce the pain of Bell's palsy. Sometimes, antiviral medications such as acyclovir or valacylovir are prescribed for seven to ten days.

Many people with Bell's palsy recover without treatment over a month or two, notes WebMD. There are important self-care steps that can help the progression of a person's recovery. Simple facial exercises and massage can make weak muscles stronger. Dry eyes can be relieved by manually opening and closing the eye several times a day; using artificial tears and lubricating ointments; and wearing eye protection during the day. An eye patch should be worn at night. Frequent brushing and flossing contribute to good oral care, and swallowing problems can be avoided by eating soft foods and chewing and swallowing slowly.

Bell's palsy causes weakness and paralysis of the facial muscles, according to Mayo Clinic. The weakness or paralysis usually affects one side of the face, causing it to droop. Individuals with Bell's palsy may also have difficulty closing their eye or mouth on the affected side. Bell's palsy often occurs after exposure to a viral infection such as herpes simplex and herpes zoster, rubella, mumps and influenza, though doctors aren't entirely sure what causes the condition.