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Bell Palsy (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

All episodes of facial weakness or paralysis should be immediately examined by a doctor to rule out the possibility of a stroke. If you have had a previous episode of Bell's palsy and have another similar episode, you should again be examined to rule out other more serious causes of the facial weakness. Other causes of facial weakness can include these conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Tumors
  • Other infections, such as meningitis
  • Trauma
  • Other neurological disease, such as multiple sclerosis

If you have any difficulty with speech (slurred speech or change in speed of your conversation), arm or leg weakness, numbness, tingling, or difficulty with balance or walking, call 911 or go to a hospital's emergency department.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/25/2013
Medical Author:

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Bell Palsy »

Bell palsy, more appropriately known as idiopathic facial paralysis (IFP), is believed to be a virally mediated cranial neuritis affecting the facial nerve due to reactivation of the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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