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Bell’s Palsy: Complications, Diagnosis and Treatment

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

The human body is able to withstand various loads. But there are times when even the most resilient organisms can fail. In general, we know the causes of various diseases of the human body. But there are those that can complicate the identification of the causes of the onset of the disease. One such condition is Bell’s palsy.

People associate this disease with paralysis in the face. This leads to the fact that a person cannot control one side of a face and cannot fully function. This becomes a problem both for everyday life and for social life. A person with this disease cannot smile normally, eat and communicate.

Fortunately, there are some measures that help either prevent the onset of the disease or improve the patient’s condition. In our article we will talk about the methods of diagnosing the disease. We will also tell you about the complications and treatment with natural remedies for Bell’s palsy.

Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis

It is a condition that causes sudden and temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles. It’s usually on one side of the face. This can lead to a range of symptoms. It includes:

  • Drooping of the face.
  • Difficulty closing one eye.
  • Difficulty smiling or frowning.

The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is not fully understood. It is typically related to inflammation of the facial nerve.

The diagnosis begins with a physical examination. After this, an assessment of the patient’s symptoms is usually taken. The doctor will examine the patient’s face for signs of weakness or paralysis. And they may also test the patient’s ability to close their eye and smile or frown. Additionally, the doctor may order an imaging test such as an MRI or CT scan. It’s to rule out other potential causes of facial weakness, such as a stroke.

To confirm a diagnosis of Bell’s palsy, a doctor may also perform many other tests. It can be a nerve conduction study or an electromyography (EMG) test. These tests can help to determine the extent of nerve damage. And they help to rule out other potential causes of facial weakness, such as a brain tumor or many sclerosis.

After a diagnosis of Bell’s palsy, treatment can begin. Treatment options may include a range of different medications. They are corticosteroids, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve muscle function. Additionally, doctors can recommend physical therapy to help improve muscle strength and coordination.

Complications of Bell’s Palsy

Complications of Bell’s palsy can vary. They depend on the severity of the condition and how quickly treatment is started. Some of the potential complications include:

  • Synkinesis. This is a condition in which the muscles on the affected side of the face become uncoordinated. It leads to abnormal movements such as eyelid closure or smiling.
  • Facial asymmetry. Permanent muscle weakness or facial asymmetry are also complications of Bell’s palsy. It can be cosmetically unappealing.
  • Eye complications. Bell’s palsy can lead to drooping of the eyelid. It can cause dry eye, irritation or even corneal damage if not treated promptly.
  • Hearing problems. Bell’s palsy can affect the acoustic nerve which controls hearing. This can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss.
  • Depression and anxiety. Bell’s palsy can cause emotional distress, self-esteem issues, and even depression and anxiety.
  • Chronic pain. Some individuals with Bell’s palsy may experience chronic pain in the face, jaw, or neck.

It’s vital to note that complications may vary, and not every patient will experience them. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to reduce the risk of complications.

Treatment of Bell’s Palsy

Treatment of facial palsy typically aims to:

  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Improve muscle function.
  • Prevent complications.


treatment for bell's palsy

The treatment options include:

  • Medications. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are often prescribed to reduce inflammation. They also improve muscle function. They are typically given in high doses for the first few days. And then tapered off over the course of several weeks. In some cases, doctors can prescribe antiviral medication like acyclovir.
  • Physical therapy. Physical Bell’s palsy therapy can be helpful in improving muscle strength and coordination. This may include exercises to improve facial muscle function. Also, massages to help improve blood flow to the affected area are great.
  • Eyecare. Bell’s palsy can cause drooping of the eyelid. It causes dry eye, irritation, or even corneal damage if not treated promptly. Eye care may include lubricating eye drops or taping the eyelid shut at night. Some treatments include even surgery to correct drooping eyelids.
  • Surgery. In severe cases, patients need surgery to correct the problem. These cases can be significant muscle weakness or facial asymmetry.
  • Supportive care. Bell’s palsy can cause emotional distress, self-esteem issues and even depression and anxiety. Supportive care can include counseling and support groups.
  • Natural remedies for Bell’s palsy. Most often, people use various nutritional supplements as natural remedies. It can be vitamins C and zinc. But you should take these products in mix with other treatments for the disease.

It’s vital to note that the treatment options vary. It depends on the individual case and the stage of the disease. And the healthcare professional will recommend the best treatment plan for each individual.

Bell’s Palsy Prognosis

The prognosis for Bell’s palsy varies. It depends on the severity of the condition and how quickly treatment is started. In general, most people with Bell’s palsy experience a full recovery within 3 to 6 months. But there are some cases where the weakness or paralysis may be permanent.

Approximately 70-80% of people with Bell’s palsy recover completely without any long-term sequelae. Around 15-20% of people will have permanent facial weakness or asymmetry that can be:

  • Mild.
  • Moderate.

And around 5-10% will have a severe permanent facial weakness. Recovery is usually more rapid and complete in patients who receive early treatment.

Factors that can impact Bell’s palsy prognosis include:

  • Time of onset. The quicker the treatment starts, the better the chances of recovery.
  • Severity of symptoms. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely the chance of permanent facial problems.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing Bell’s palsy. And if it develops during pregnancy, the chances of severe symptoms and poor recovery are increased.

It’s important to note that everyone is unique, and the prognosis can vary from person to person.

When You Need to See a Doctor

Seeing a doctor can be done in general with any changes in your health. But this is especially true when you experience symptoms like Bell’s palsy. If you experience tingling or numbness in your face, you should contact your healthcare professional immediately. They will be able to exclude the occurrence of a stroke or other diseases with the same symptoms.

Here are some tips for preparing before visiting a doctor:

  • Mark in your notepad or phone all the symptoms you have.
  • Save the history of your diseases. This can help your doctor make a correct diagnosis and prescribe timely Bell’s palsy therapy.
  • Write down a list of questions you want to ask your doctor.

It is best to do this all in advance, while at home. This will help you organize your thoughts and deal with the anxiety you may feel at the doctor’s visit.

Bottom Line 

As a result, it becomes clear that this facial paralysis is a complex disease. But fortunately, in almost all cases, the disease resolves itself without extra treatment. But some exercises and practices can help the patient improve the condition. In any case, it is very important to check your symptoms and the risks of getting a complication. That is why it is very important to follow proper nutrition and follow a healthy lifestyle. This approach can help you avoid unwanted complications.


  • How to cure Bell palsy naturally?

There is no specific cure for Bell’s palsy. But some natural remedies may help to reduce symptoms and improve recovery. These include:

  • Vitamin C supplements.
  • Zinc supplements.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Massage and facial exercises.
  • Yoga and meditation.
  • Can Bell’s palsy come back?

It is possible for Bell’s palsy to recur, although this is relatively rare. The risk of recurrence may be higher in people who have a history of the condition. Or if there are certain risk factors, such as a viral infection or pregnancy.

  • How do you confirm Bell’s palsy?

A diagnosis of Bell’s palsy is typically made based on:

  • A physical examination.
  • An assessment of the patient’s symptoms.

Other tests include an MRI or CT scan, nerve conduction study or electromyography (EMG).

  • What are signs of Bell’s palsy recovery?

Signs of recovery from Bell’s palsy can include:

  • Improvement in muscle strength and coordination.
  • Ability to close the eye fully.
  • Improvement in facial symmetry.
  • Ability to smile or frown normally.
  • Reduction in drooping of the face.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
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16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
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21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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