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Bell's Palsy Treatment

The goal of treatment for Bell's palsy is to eliminate the source of the nerve damage. Some cases are mild and do not require treatment, as the symptoms usually improve on their own. For others, medications such as steroids, antiviral drugs, and anti-inflammatory medicines may be needed. Other options include physical therapy and eye protection (such as eye patches or lubricating eyedrops).

Bell's Palsy Treatment: An Introduction

The most important factor in treating Bell's palsy is to eliminate the source of the nerve damage.
 
Bell's palsy affects each individual differently. Some cases are mild and do not require treatment, as the symptoms usually improve on their own within two weeks. For others, options may include medications and other therapeutic options. There is no cure for Bell's palsy.
 

Medications to Treat Bell's Palsy

Recent Bell's palsy research studies have shown that steroids are an effective treatment. Steroids are used to reduce inflammation and swelling. Studies also have shown that an antiviral drug, such as acyclovir, combined with an anti-inflammatory drug, such as the steroid prednisone, may be effective in improving facial function by limiting or reducing damage to the nerve.
 
Analgesics, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, may relieve pain. Because of possible drug interactions, people taking prescription medicines should always talk to their doctors before taking any over-the-counter drugs.
 

Eye Protection as a Bell's Palsy Treatment

Another important factor in Bell's palsy treatment is eye protection. The condition can interrupt the eyelid's natural blinking ability, leaving the eye exposed to irritation and drying. Therefore, keeping the eye moist and protecting it from debris and injury, especially at night, is important. Lubricating eyedrops (such as Artificial Tears®, or eye ointments or gels), and eye patches are also effective treatments for Bell's palsy.
 

Physical Therapy for Treating Bell's Palsy

Physical therapy to stimulate the facial nerve and help maintain muscle tone may be beneficial to some people with Bell's palsy. Facial massage and exercises may help prevent permanent contractures (shrinkage or shortening) of the paralyzed muscles before recovery takes place. Moist heat applied to the affected side of the face may help reduce pain.
 
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Information on Bell's Palsy

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