ABC Medical Center > Bell’s palsy

What is Bell’s palsy?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition that manifests with abrupt facial muscle weakness, making half of the face look uneven downwards, when trying to smile it is only possible to do it on one side, and the eye of the affected part cannot close completely.

Within a few weeks, the weakness usually improves and can rarely affect the nerves on both sides of the face. Bell’s palsy or facial paralysis can occur in people of all ages and although the origin is unknown, research indicates that it may be due to inflammation of the nerve responsible for managing the muscles of the face or a secondary effect of an infectious process caused by a virus, such as:

  • Influenza.
  • Herpes simplex.
  • Cytomegalovirus.
  • Infectious mononucleosis.
  • Respiratory ailments.
  • Herpes Zoster.
  • Mumps.
  • Rubella.

Like any condition, there are several factors that can influence the appearance of Bell’s palsy, including:

  • Diabetes.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Upper respiratory tract infection.

Signs and symptoms Bell’s palsy

Symptoms appear suddenly and consist of:

  • Excessive salivation and tearing with discharge.
  • Trouble gesturing.
  • Drop in the level of one side of the face.
  • Mild weakness to total paralysis of one side of the face.
  • Headache.
  • Sore jaw
  • Pain in the ear on the damaged side.
  • Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side.
  • Impaired sense of taste.

Symptoms generally improve within a few weeks, and full recovery usually occurs within six months. Bell’s palsy symptoms rarely continue for life.

Potential risks:

  • Total or partial loss of sight due to the cornea being affected.
  • Synkinesis, where muscle control is lacking and when making a movement another is made involuntary.
  • Damaged facial nerve.

Diagnosis and treatment Bell’s palsy

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination of your face and ask you to make various movements. In addition, they will request studies such as electromyography, computed tomography, and MRI, to determine that it is Bell’s palsy.

The treatment consists of taking:

  • Corticosteroids.
  • Antiviral drugs.
  • Physiotherapy.

In certain cases, decompression surgery may be required to free the facial nerve or, in others, plastic surgery to correct harmful effects on the face.

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.


  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


  • aao.org
  • cun.es
  • mayocilinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • topdoctors.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Montoya AP, Morales FM, Murillo AK. Parálisis de Bell. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2021;6(06):1-10.
  • Martín PB, Pérez RE, Yumar CAC, et al. Efectividad de la rehabilitación en la parálisis de Bell. Rev Cub de Med Fis y Rehab. 2017;9(1):1-14.
  • Aceves-Rodríguez R, Sosa-Luna CA, Duvignau-Dondé E. Estimulación magnética transcraneal del nervio facial en individuos con parálisis de Bell. Rev Neurol Neurocir Psiquiat. 2009;42(1-4):13-20.
  • Ferrera MT, Hernández ZMS, Castro ALR, et al. Evaluación clínica y funcional de pacientes con parálisis de Bell tratados con láser. MediSan. 2015;19(12):5056-5062.

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