Skip to main content
(212) 434-4050 (212) 371-3223 (FACE)
long haired brunette cries hiding face in hands

Bell’s Palsy is a condition that affects the facial nerves, leading to sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. While the exact cause of Bell’s Palsy remains unclear, it is believed to be linked to viral infections, inflammation and nerve damage. At New York Facial Paralysis, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Bell’s Palsy, offering comprehensive care to help patients regain function and confidence in their appearance. Let’s look at the causes, symptoms and treatment options for Bell’s Palsy.

Causes of Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy is thought to occur when the facial nerve, which controls movement in the facial muscles, becomes inflamed or compressed. While the precise cause of this inflammation is not fully understood, viral infections, particularly herpes simplex virus (HSV) and herpes zoster virus (the cause of shingles) are commonly implicated. Other factors that may contribute to the development of Bell’s Palsy include autoimmune diseases, trauma and environmental factors.

Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy

The hallmark symptom of Bell’s Palsy is sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face, which can cause drooping of the mouth, difficulty closing the eye, and asymmetry of facial expressions. Other common symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty smiling or frowning on one side of the face
  • Drooling or excessive tearing
  • Loss of taste sensation
  • Pain or discomfort around the jaw or behind the ear
  • Sensitivity to sound or light
  • Difficulty speaking or eating

Treatment Options for Bell’s Palsy

While Bell’s Palsy often resolves on its own within a few weeks to months, treatment may be necessary to alleviate symptoms and speed up recovery. At New York Facial Paralysis, we offer a range of treatment options tailored to each patient’s unique needs and circumstances:

  • Medications: Steroids, such as prednisone, are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling of the facial nerve, which can help alleviate symptoms and promote faster recovery. In some cases, antiviral medications may also be recommended to target the underlying viral infection.
  • Eye Care: Protecting the eye on the affected side is crucial to prevent complications such as corneal abrasions and dry eye syndrome. Eye drops or ointments may be prescribed to keep the eye moist and lubricated, and wearing an eye patch at night can help prevent accidental injury.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy plays a key role in Bell’s Palsy treatment, helping to maintain muscle tone, improve facial mobility, and prevent long-term complications such as muscle atrophy and contractures. Therapeutic exercises, massage techniques, and electrical stimulation may be used to strengthen facial muscles and enhance coordination.
  • Surgical Intervention: In cases where other treatments are not effective, or symptoms persist despite conservative measures, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgical options for Bell’s Palsy may include nerve decompression surgery, facial reanimation procedures, and muscle transfers to restore facial symmetry and function.

At New York Facial Paralysis, we understand the challenges posed by Bell’s Palsy and are dedicated to providing compassionate care and effective treatments to help patients achieve optimal outcomes. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of Bell’s Palsy, do not hesitate to seek evaluation and treatment from our experienced team of specialists. With prompt intervention and personalized care, we can help you regain function and confidence in your appearance, empowering you to face the world with a smile once again.

Posted on behalf of New York Facial Paralysis

Grand Park Building, 110 East 40 Street, Suite 501
New York, NY 10016

Phone: (212) 434-4050

FAX: (212) 434-4059


Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM



New York Facial Paralysis

At Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital

Grand Park Building, 110 East 40 Street, Suite 501
New York, NY 10016

(212) 434-4050 (212) 371-3223 (FACE)

Opening Times: Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

If you are interested in discussing your case with the NYFP specialists: