Doctor's Notes on Bell's Palsy
Bell's palsy is a paralysis of the facial nerve due to an unidentified cause. It is sometimes called idiopathic facial nerve palsy or Antoni's palsy. There are many conditions that can cause damage to the facial nerve, but the diagnosis of Bell's palsy is given when there is no identifiable cause of the nerve damage.
Signs and symptoms of Bell's palsy are similar to those of any type of damage to the facial nerve. These include paralysis of the affected side of the face that comes on relatively suddenly. It is much less common to have the condition on both sides of the face. Other associated symptoms in some people can include pain or numbness in the face, ear, tongue, or neck. Some people report an increase in hearing sensitivity.
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.