Health Encyclopedia

Bell's Palsy

Bell's Palsy

Bell's palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. It causes one side of the face to droop and affects not only taste but also saliva and tear production.

In most cases of Bell's palsy, the nerve that controls muscles on either side of the face is damaged by inflammation. The cause of this inflammation is not clear, but it may be linked to a viral infection.

Last Revised: July 23, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology

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