Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis: Now What?

A Bell’s palsy diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming if you don’t know where to turn for help. Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS is the Director of the Facial Paralysis Institute and is known for his innovative treatment of Bell’s palsy and facial paralysis. He is here to help you understand the condition as well as explain the best Bell’s palsy treatment available.


What is Bell’s Palsy?

First, it is important to understand Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is essentially the term used to describe facial paralysis that is not caused by anything else such as a tumor or trauma. A lot of research has been done over the years on the condition and most recent research suggests that Bell’s palsy is caused by the reactivation of a virus (herpes simplex virus) in the temporal bone behind the ear. The activation of the virus causes the nerve to shut down. The onset of Bell’s palsy is sudden and generally causes facial paralysis immediately.  Approximately 85% of patients with Bell’s palsy will completely recover, while the remaining percentage of Bell’s palsy patients will have at least some permanent facial paralysis and/or synkinesis.

It is crucial that any person who experiences the sudden onset of facial paralysis go to the emergency room right away. The only way to determine if it is in fact Bell’s palsy is to rule out other serious conditions like Lyme disease, tumors, or aneurism through testing and a thorough evaluation. If Bell’s palsy is suspected, be sure to visit a facial nerve expert quickly.

Best Bell’s Palsy Treatment

When you are diagnosed with Bell’s palsy you will need to begin a course of anti-viral medication right away, as well as a high dose of a steroid such as prednisone. Patients should then visit a facial paralysis and facial nerve expert like Dr. Azizzadeh for the best Bell’s palsy treatment. 

Dr. Azizzadeh commonly treats Bell’s palsy patients with Botox. Botox is a neuromodulator that is injected into specific muscles to help restore facial symmetry in patients with facial paralysis. It relaxes hyperactive, tense muscles affected by synkinesis and greatly improves appearance in Bell’s palsy, partial facial paralysis and synkinesis patients. If 6-12 months after a diagnosis the patient is having difficulty improving facial movements, neuromuscular retraining and other surgical options for treatment will be examined.

Contact us to Schedule a Consultation for the Best Bell’s Palsy Treatment

Dr. Azizzadeh and his team are experts in the treatment of facial paralysis conditions like Bell’s palsy. If you are diagnosed with Bell’s palsy it is important to seek treatment right away. To treat the facial paralysis, Dr. Azizzadeh can use Botox, which has shown to be the most effective Bell’s palsy treatment method. Call the Facial Paralysis Institute at (310) 657-2203 today to schedule a consultation.

For information on the best bell's palsy treatment, contact our office today

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Director, The Facial Paralysis Institute - Associate Clinical Professor - Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

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Dr. Azizzadeh’s facial nerve textbook is the preeminent textbook for doctors on the subject.