Bell’s palsy: Facts about the surprisingly common facial paralysis condition

Published Aug 9, 2017, 3:40 pm IST
Updated Aug 9, 2017, 3:41 pm IST
Angelina Jolie recently revealed she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.
Facts about Bell’s palsy. (Photo: Pexels)
 Facts about Bell’s palsy. (Photo: Pexels)

American actress Angelina Jolie recently revealed she was diagnosed in 2016 with Bell’s palsy, a condition that weakness facial muscles.

While much about the condition is unheard of, a surprising number of people suffer from it. Close to 40,000 Americans are affected by it every year, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).


Here's everything you need to know about the condition.

What is Bell's palsy?

When the muscles on one side of the face weaken it is characterized as Bell’s palsy. This form of temporary facial paralysis is caused by damage to the facial nerves.


Bell's palsy is caused when the nerve controlling facial muscles is swollen, inflamed, or compressed. Researchers are still trying to determine why it happens, but believe that a viral infection or common cold sore virus could be a contributing factor of the disorder.



Depending on the severity of the paralysis, signs vary from person to person. However, these are some of the most common symptoms.
* Twitching
* Weakness on one side of the face
*Drooping of the eyelid
*Drooping of the corner of the mouth
*Dryness of the eye or mouth
*Loss of taste
*Tearing excessively in one eye
*Pain around the jaw and ear
*Impaired speech
*Unable to eat or drink


*The eyes are also treated as the condition disrupts eyelid's natural blinking ability.
*Keeping the eye moist
*Physical therapy
*Facial massage
*Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery is sometimes required to reduce deformities and correct specific damages.


The source of the information is NINDS.