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What is the Best Treatment for Bell’s Palsy?

By: Kelly Warf, Au.D.
Michael Layland, M.D.

Before discussing treatment options for facial weakness, we need to review the cause for this disorder. Facial weakness is often called Bell’s Palsy. Typically, the effected individual wakes up feeling fine but is shocked by what they discover in the mirror; one side of their face is drooping. Other symptoms may include drooling, difficulty swallowing or speaking, incomplete eyelid closure, pain around the eyes, facial numbness or heaviness, and loss of taste.

The facial nerve supplies the face, ears, mouth, and eyes. Bell’s palsy occurs when the facial nerve is injured, squeezed, or somehow swollen/inflamed.

There are several treatment options that may be recommended by your ENT doctor. Some benefit from taking a prescribed oral steroid. In addition, some may be prescribed an antiviral medication if a viral infection is suspected. If the facial weakness continues or gets worse, other treatment and surgical options may be discussed with your ENT doctor. If the eye/eyelid is affected, an evaluation by an optometrist may be recommended.

If you are experiencing a sudden facial weakness, call our office for a same-day appointment so we can assess and begin treatment immediately. Call our office at 847-685-1000.

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