Alternate Names : Facial Nerve Weakness, Facial Nerve Palsy
Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis on one side of the face resulting from damage to the
seventh cranial nerve.
What is going on in the body?
Bell's palsy is thought to be due to inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve.
This nerve is called the facial nerve. Bell's palsy tends to come on very suddenly. Some
people notice pain behind the ear a day or two before they notice any facial muscle weakness.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Bell's palsy is caused by a sudden breakdown of or damage to the nerve
that supplies the muscles on one side of the face. Attacks often occur without a clear
cause. The common cold sore virus, herpes simplex,
is the likely cause of most cases of Bell's palsy. Bell's palsy is more common in
pregnant women, people recovering from a viral infection, and people with diabetes.