Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to the 7th cranial nerve.
- Sudden onset of paralysis or weakness on one side of your face, making it difficult to smile or close your eye on the affected side
- Facial droop and difficulty with facial expressions
- Difficulty eating or drinking
- Dryness of the eye or mouth
- Excessive tearing of one eye
- Pain behind or in front of your ear on the affected side
- Sounds that seem louder on the affected side
- Pain, usually in the ear on the affected side or around the jaw
- Loss of taste
After examination by your physician, physical therapy addresses the weakened muscles of the face that can shorten during the episode. Treatment includes massage and exercise of the facial muscles and modalities to reduce pain and inflammation. Instruction in a home management program will include feeding recommendations, exercise and massage to the affected soft tissues and muscles.