You wake up on a morning like any other—make a pit stop in the bathroom, brush your teeth, rub your weary eyes and peer in the mirror only to notice that the left side of your face is slightly drooping. Now that you really focus, you notice your left eyelid is sagging as well. When you try to move or touch your face, you’re shocked to discover numbness with total muscle paralysis.
No, this isn’t a nightmare, you are experiencing Bell’s palsy, a common form of facial paralysis that typically lasts a few months in duration. However, despite the temporary nature of the condition, the symptoms are pretty darn scary…
1. What is Bell’s Palsy?
Bell’s Palsy is characterized as the weakness or total paralysis or of the muscles on one side of your face. Bell’s palsy only strikes the left or right side of the face—not both sides at once.
Facial paralysis is caused by damage or injury to one of the two large facial nerves that branch out and control the muscles on either side of the face. Each nerve sends electronic impulses that trigger facial muscles, but with Bell’s palsy one nerve is paralyzed, which explains the dropping (or sagging) of muscles on one side of the face.