Bell palsy, also termed idiopathic facial paralysis (IFP), is the most common cause of unilateral facial paralysis. It is one of the most common neurologic disorders of the cranial nerves . In majority of cases, Bell palsy gradually resolves over time, cause is unknown.
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Bell palsy include the following:
Acute onset of unilateral upper and lower facial paralysis (over a 48-hr period)
Posterior auricular pain
Weakness of the facial muscles
Poor eyelid closure
Aching of the ear or mastoid
Tingling or numbness of the cheek/mouth
Flattening of forehead and nasolabial fold on the side affected by palsy
When patient raises eyebrows, palsy-affected side of forehead remains flat
When patient smiles, face becomes distorted and lateralizes to side opposite the palsy
See Clinical Presentation for more specific information on the signs and symptoms of Bell palsy.