Bell's palsy

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Bell's palsy

neuropathy of the facial nerve, resulting in paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face. The person usually has sagging on one side of the mouth, with drooling and lack of ability to whistle. Care must be taken when eating to avoid inadvertent trauma. If the eye on the affected side cannot be closed, it may become tearful and inflamed.
Bell's palsy. From McQuillan et al., 2002.

Bell's palsy is often no more than a temporary condition lasting a few days or weeks. Occasionally it may be the result of a tumor pressing on the nerve or physical trauma to the nerve. In this event, recovery will depend on the success in treating the tumor or injury. More often, however, the cause is unknown. In many cases the deformity can be reduced by plastic surgery.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bell's palsy

A unilateral facial muscle paralysis of sudden onset, resulting from trauma, compression, or infection of the facial nerve and characterized by muscle weakness and a distorted facial expression.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Bell’s palsy

Acute peripheral paralysis of the face due to a herpes simplex immune-mediated condition, often characterised by severe pain arising in the trigeminal nerve, the chief sensory nerve of the face, which arises in cranial nerve VII.
Clinical findings
Abrupt onset, drooping mouth, unblinking eye, twisted nose, uneven smile, distorted expressions; paralysis hits maximum in 1 to 14 days; retroauricular pain, facial numbness, epiphora, parageusia, decreased tearing, hyperacusis, hypoesthesia or dysesthesia of cranial nerves (CN V and IX), motor paresis of CN IX and X, papillitis of tongue.
Risk of Bell’s palsy increases with age; age 10 to 19, 2:1 female:male ratio; age 40, 3:2 men:women ratio; pregnant women have 3.3 times increased risk than nonpregnant; DM = 4.5 times increased risk of BP; 10% of patients have positive family Hx of BP.
DiffDx, unilateral
Tumours or masses, otitis media, sarcoid, Lyme disease, skull fracture, facial injury.
DiffDx, bilateral
Guillain-Barré syndrome, Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, Möbius syndrome, motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis.

Trauma, Bell’s palsy, stroke, parotid tumours, intracranial tumours.
Microvascular and micro-neurosurgical tissue transfers allow restoration of functional, unconscious, symmetrical facial movements; acyclovir; steroids (uncertain efficacy); artificial tears; neuromuscular retraining—e.g., mirror/visual feedback, biofeedback or electromyography feedback.
60 to 80% recover, especially if incomplete paralysis, and patient is young.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bell's palsy

Bell's paralysis, facial nerve palsy Neurology A condition affecting the 7th–facial nerve, resulting in unilateral facial paralysis; BP can be differentiated from a central–stroke deficit by inability to raise eyebrow on affected side. See Facial nerve.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Bell's palsy

Paralysis of some or all of the muscles on one side of the face, so that the corner of the mouth droops, the lower lid falls away, and the affected side of the face becomes flattened and expressionless. Many cases of Bell's palsy are due to herpes simplex virus infections. Polymerase chain reaction amplification has shown the herpes simplex virus genome in a high proportion of cases. A faster and more complete recovery can often be achieved by treatment with the anti-herpes drug aciclovir (Zovirax). The early use of steroids such as prednisolone also improves the prognosis. (Sir Charles Bell, 1774–1842, Scottish surgeon).
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Bell's palsy

Facial paralysis or weakness with a sudden onset, caused by swelling or inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve, which controls the facial muscles. Disseminated Lyme disease sometimes causes Bell's palsy.
Mentioned in: Lyme Disease
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Patient discussion about Bell's palsy

Q. What Is Bell's Palsy? A friend of mine has been told she has Bell's palsy. What happens in this disease?

A. Bell's palsy is defined as an idiopathic (from an unknown reason) unilateral facial nerve paralysis, usually self-limiting. The trademark is rapid onset of partial or complete palsy, usually in a single day.
Here you can learn more about what exactly is Bell's palsy-

Q. What are the causes of bell's palsy?

A. I had it 5 years ago at age 20. All the symptoms of the above are correct not to mention the tiredness and rapid blinking of the eye from the effected side.

In my case I have just found out that I have a non milignate tumor behind my left eye which was likely to be the cause of the Bell Pausy in the first place. I encourage anyone who has symptoms or pain spanning more than 8 weeks to see their doctor and if possible request request or demand a MRI scan for peace of mind.

If pain persists get a second opinion and dont let the Dr. shrugg you off.

More discussions about Bell's palsy
This content is provided by iMedix and is subject to iMedix Terms. The Questions and Answers are not endorsed or recommended and are made available by patients, not doctors.
References in periodicals archive ?
Letter in Reply: "Neonatal Bell's Palsy and Possible Correlation with Human Leukocyte Antigens"
"Bell's Palsy is more common than thought due to the high usage of air conditioners in the region.
The 47 patients followed up for more than 6 months after the onset of palsy comprised 28 patients with Bell's palsy and 19 patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
When the Bell's palsy struck I remember staring in the mirror, screaming and screaming.
In many cases, patients were diagnosed as having Bell's palsy or trigeminal neuralgia for years before being diagnosed with skin cancer.
The study included facial palsy patients of both sexes and all age groups divided into three groups of patients with borreliosis, Bell's palsy and HSV-1 infection.
Disorders discussed include dizziness and vertigo, tinnitus, Bell's palsy, otitis media, swimmer's ear, obstructions, malformations and growths, cancer, trauma, mastoiditis, perforations of the eardrum, otosclerosis, Meniere's disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Angelina Jolie revealed in a Vanity Fair interview Wednesday that she had been diagnosed with Bell's palsy after the very public split from her husband Brad Pitt last year.
Objective: To determine the frequency of Bell's palsy patients getting recommended doses of steroids at their first presentation to a general physician within the first 72 hours of onset of their symptoms.
A POSTLICENSURE SAFETY STUDY of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine in Southern California has shown that the vaccine may be associated with an increase in the risk of Bell's palsy but only if the vaccine is taken concomitantly with another vaccine.