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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Bell Palsy
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Bell Palsy

Alternate Names : Facial Nerve Weakness, Facial Nerve Palsy

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

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.


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Bell Palsy: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Dr. Karen Wolfe, MBBS, MA
Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 06/15/02

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