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: 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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Comment from: carmen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

On December 13 my kids and I were making Christmas cookies. I woke up with a watery eye, and then it went away. Thinking it was a cold in my eye we continued baking. Around 11 am my face felt tingly and I said something to my daughter who is a registered nurse, and she told me to go to the emergency room because it looked like Bell's palsy. I was on an emotional rollercoaster. The doctor started me on steroids right away. I am still having issues dealing with it. To me it is embarrassing especially working and my speech is horrible, and I can't see too well out of my left eye. Doctor said it could take 3 months or longer. I haven't seen too much improvement. I made a rice heat pad that seems to feel good on my jaw line which is where I have pain. Wish me luck and to all who are dealing with Bell's. Not fun, very depressing.

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