Facial Nerve Problems and Bell's Palsy - Share Your Experience

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What is the facial nerve?

The facial nerve is a nerve that controls the muscles on the side of the face. It allows us to show expression, smile, cry, and wink. Injury to the facial nerve can cause a socially and psychologically devastating physical defect; although most cases resolve spontaneously, treatment may ultimately require extensive rehabilitation or multiple procedures.

The facial nerve is the seventh of the twelve cranial nerves. Everyone has two facial nerves, one for each side of the face. The facial nerve travels with the hearing nerve (the eighth cranial nerve) as it travels in and around the structures of the middle ear. It exits the front of the ear at the stylomastoid foramen (a hole in the skull base), where it then travels through the parotid gland. In the parotid gland it divides into many branches that provide motor function for the various muscles and glands of the head and neck.

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

See what others are saying

Comment from: BeSmartNow, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 30

On one random evening, my husband and I witnessed his smile starting to "shift" to one side. At first we thought it was a joke, and laughed about it. He was unable to control this shift. After two days, we realized it was serious, and he was losing feeling and control on the right side of his face. By that day, his eyelids started to droop, and he could not close his eye. We panicked and went to the emergency room to wait for hours only to affirm what I had researched online. It was Bell's palsy. We were prescribed prednisone and acyclovir, which we believe today had little to no effect in his recovery. Immediately after leaving the hospital, we began the regime, based on my research prior. He was only going to eat healthy food to allow his face to recover. From that point, for two weeks, he did only this, ate broccoli for every meal with olive oil. He drank ginger tea (buy raw ginger, cut it up and boil it into a tea), used raw honey instead of sugar. Drank this several times a day. He also ate blueberries and celery. Later we just added some whole wheat bread and boiled chicken breast into the meals. He also took daily, 2 fish oil omega 3 tablets, and 1 B-12 tablet, 1000mcg a day. He rested a lot, lots of sleep is needed. He let the body heal itself, he did not stress his face with exercises, we tried it one time, but it did not work. Soon he started to feel tingling sensations on the paralyzed right side of his face. It buzzed near his eyelids and lips. These are indications that the nerves are starting to send signals to the paralyzed face. And he was on the road to recovery! This is all we did, and one day after 2 weeks, we just realized it was 110% gone!

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Comment from: Donna, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

Ten months ago I woke up to this horrible nightmare of Bell's palsy. To this day I am still dealing with the swelling on my left side and my pictures look awful; I can tell I still have it looking at any recent pictures. To anyone that has severe pain, trust me it is real and horrible. The pain in the back of my ear and the electric pulses in my head were almost unbearable. After 45 days I could finally go out in public, and I remained under doctor's care the entire time, with high doses of steroids and pain pills. What an awful experience and it"s still not over for me, my guess is it's never going away. Best of health and know the pain is very real.

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