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Bell’s Palsy

Neurological

Bell’s palsy is a sudden onset of facial paralysis that causes one side of the face to droop. If you have Bell’s palsy, you most likely went to bed and woke up the next morning to find you cannot move one side of your face. Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis occurring in around 40,000 people in the U.S. every year. The condition is named after the surgeon in Scotland that discovered it, Sir Charles Bell. The partial paralysis is caused by palsy (paralysis accompanied by involuntary tremors) of the facial nerve that affects all the muscles of facial expression. The facial nerve also innervates tear and saliva glands, the muscles of a small bone in the middle ear, and communicates messages of sensation from the tongue. The symptoms of Bell’s palsy gradually go away over a few weeks, but residual muscle weakness can last for several months.

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