Bell’s Palsy | Overview


What is Bell’s palsy?

Bell’s palsy is a condition that partly or completely paralyzes the side of your face. In rare cases, both sides of your face may be affected. Bell’s palsy occurs when your facial nerve is damaged. The facial nerve carries signals for movement and taste and other information to and from your face. When this nerve is damaged, your face can’t get these signals to and from the brain. While it may seem scary at the time, Bell’s palsy usually doesn’t last long.

All of the causes of Bell’s palsy are not known. It may occur when a virus, such as herpes or the common cold, makes the facial nerve swell. The swollen nerve presses against the bone around it. This pressure can stop the nerve from working correctly.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 08/09