Bell's Palsy treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, you will likely make a full recovery. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. However, medication or physical therapy may help reduce the amount of time you are experiencing symptoms.

Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, can help reduce the swelling of the facial nerve caused by Bell’s palsy. Physical therapy can help prevent muscle contractions caused by the paralysis. Decompression surgery is no longer used to relieve pressure on the facial nerve. 

Risks

Side effects of corticosteroids used to treat Bell’s palsy include:

  • Fluid retention
  • High blood pressure
  • Behavioral changes
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach lining irritation / gastric ulcers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Increase in blood sugar

Post-treatment

Symptoms of a mild case of Bell’s palsy often resolve within a few weeks. For more severe cases, there can be long-term complications, including:

  • Permanent damage to the facial nerve
  • Involuntary contraction of facial muscles due to misdirected regrowth of nerve fibers
  • Irritation of the eye caused by an inability to fully close it, in severe cases leading to vision loss