Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

Facial Palsy Treatment

Fortunately, most cases of Bell's palsy resolve without treatment within 3 to 6 months. Because one eye cannot close completely, therapy is focused on lubricating the eye to keep it moist. Oral corticosteroids may reduce the inflammation of the facial nerve and speed recovery, especially if they are started early. Some may benefit from the addition of antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, if a virus caused the symptoms. Oral corticosteroids and antiviral medications must be started within three days of the onset of symptoms. Physical therapy may help avoid permanent weakness of the muscles in the face.

The treatment for Bell's palsy includes:

Facial Palsy Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of Bell's palsy.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Facial Palsy Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat Bell's palsy:

Continue to Facial Palsy Home Care

Last Updated: May 10, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Facial Palsy References
  1. Adour KK, Ruboyianes JM, Von Doersten PG, et al: Bell's palsy treatment with acyclovir and prednisone compared with prednisone alone: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1996 May; 105(5): 371-8. [8651631]
  2. Murakami S, Mizobuchi M, Nakashiro Y, et al: Bell palsy and herpes simplex virus: identification of viral DNA in endoneurial fluid and muscle. Ann Intern Med 1996 Jan 1; 124(1 Pt 1): 27-30. [7503474]
  3. Piercy J. Bell's palsy. BMJ. 2005 Jun 11;330(7504):1374. [15947400]
  4. Salinas R. Bell's palsy. Clin Evid. 2003 Dec;(10):1504-7. [15555157]
  5. Salinas RA, Alvarez G, Ferreira J. Corticosteroids for Bell's palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD001942. [15495021]
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