Facial Nerve Problems and Bell's Palsy (Bell Palsy)

  • Medical Author:
    Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

    Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Can facial nerve problems be prevented?

At one time it was thought that exposure to cold air or a strong wind were predisposing factors leading to idiopathic facial nerve palsy (Bell's palsy); we now know that these ideas were incorrect. As the majority of causes for idiopathic facial nerve problems are unknown, it is difficult to predict with any accuracy specific items to avoid. Choosing a healthy lifestyle to decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer, or infection may help prevent some cases of facial nerve palsy.

Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; Joseph Carcione, DO; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

Marsk, E., et al. "Prediction of nonrecovery in Bell's palsy using Sunnybrook grading." Laryngoscope 122.4 (2012): 901-906.

Peitersen, E. "The natural history of Bell's palsy." The American Journal of Otology 4.2 (1982): 107-111.

Sullivan, F. M., et al. "Early treatment with prednisolone or acyclovir in Bell's palsy." The New England Journal of Medicine 357:16 (2007): 1598-1607.

Sullivan, F. M., et al. " A randomised controlled trial of the use of aciclovir and/or prednisolone for the early treatment of Bell's palsy: the BELLS study." Health Technology Assessment 47:iii-iv, ix-xi (2009) 1-130.

Teixeira, L. J., et al. "Physical therapy for Bell s palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis)." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 3 (2008): CD006283.

Previous contributing author: Standiford Helm II, MD.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/6/2015
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