Bell’s palsy is a sudden weakness or paralysis of one side of the face. It is caused by inflammation or damage to the facial nerve. It is usually temporary – most people recover fully.
What is Bell’s palsy?
Bell’s palsy is a weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles that usually affects just one side of the face.
It is thought to be mainly caused by an infection with a virus.
The infection inflames or puts pressure on the nerve that controls your facial muscles. It can be mild, or it can be severe.
Most people recover without treatment in 3 to 9 months.
Bell’s palsy signs and symptoms
The main symptom is weakness or paralysis of one side of the face. It usually is at its worst within 2 to 3 days of starting. It can also cause:
drooping eyelid or difficulty closing one eye
difficulty smiling and making facial expressions
drooping of one side of the mouth