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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How can the face affected by Bell's Palsy be return to normal?

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Dr. Ajay Panwar

Neurologist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 1795 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 12 Sep 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: I have had Bell's Palsy for the last nine months. The right side of my face has been affected. I imagine that, if the right side of my face was going to return to normal, it would have done so by now. The effects of the Bell's Palsy are sagging down of skin above my right eye, periods of watering in my right eye, puffiness on the right side of my face that is especially noticeable in the lower part of my cheek where there is a noticeably deeper crease than on the left side of my face, and the right side of my mouth looking misshapen with me not being able to extend it fully, to the right, in order to form a smile. My speech, at times, has been affected by the affect of Bell's Palsy on the facial muscles near the right side of my mouth. I have heard that facial surgery can be done to fix some of the affects of Bell's Palsy in people whose face does not return to normal on its own. Is that so and how long should I wait for my face to return to normal before doing such surgery?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ajay Panwar 4 hours later
Brief Answer:

It may take even upto an year to improve at times.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Most of the patients with Bell's palsy observe complete improvement within several months or even up to a year in some patients.

Dedicated facial exercises and dedicated physiotherapy play a big role in recovery. Recovery will hasten with your efforts in physical therapy.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Ajay Panwar, Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Ajay Panwar 4 hours later
The doctor that I went to, about 10 days after the Bell's Palsy first showed up, didn't mention anything about physical therapy. Lately, I have done some gentle massaging in the lower part of the cheek and around the mouth. I'm not sure if it has helped. Is that what you mean, or part of what you mean, when you say physical therapy? Also, is this physical therapy something I can do on my own or does a doctor have to do it to the affected area of my face? If it is something that I can do on my own, are there any videos, online, that would demonstrate to me exactly what I should be doing as far as facial exercises and physical therapy are concerned? I forgot to mention that, from time to time, in the last few weeks, I've noticed throbbing, in my face, next to my nose, usually for a minute or less at a time. Is that normal or is it something to be concerned about?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ajay Panwar 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Visit a physiotherapist.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Physiotherapists are often well trained in physical therapy for Bell's Palsy.

It includes facial exercises as well as massage. It's better to go to a physiotherapist in person, rather than online videos. You can follow-up later with youtube videos.

That throbbing you mentioned, may occur after Bell's palsy. That should not be a major cause of concern.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care
Dr Ajay Panwar, Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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