Bell’s Palsy

It is common condition causing disfigurement of face. Mouth is deviated to one side and patient has difficulty closing one eye. Patient usually has watering from affected eye as well. Some patients experience pain behind ear and loss of taste on one side of tongue.


It is usually due to viral infection of middle ear.


Recovery from Bell’s palsy is gradual. Usually it occurs in 2 to 4 weeks. Most patients have complete recovery with medicines. Some patient may have some residual weakness that may take months to resolve.


Physiotherapy is of extreme importance in treatment of Bell’s palsy. Exercise of affected side of face should be done twice a day. Visit to physiotherapist is recommended.

General instructions for Bell’s Palsy patients:

1. It is a viral illness that usually resolves completely.

2. Recovery with oral steroids occurs within couple of weeks.

3. Patients are usually unable to close affected eye and it can result in eye ulcer. Special care of affected eye should be taken. Patient should avoid direct sunlight. Patient should not go in dusty and windy places. Wearing sun glasses while going out is a wise option.

4. In some patients, Bell’s palsy can be recurrent and it should be brought into attention of treating doctor.

5. Severe case of Bell’s palsy may take months to resolve completely. Patients should not get discouraged with this because eventually recovery occurs in most cases.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I take yakhni/soup of wild pigeons?

This is the most common question asked from doctors. There is no scientific evidence that soup of wild pigeons or flesh of wild or domestic pigeons helps in anyway. So, this is a totally useless thing to do.

Can I take bath or wash my face?

Yes, you can. There is absolutely no harm in doing so.

Can I sleep under a fan or in air-conditioned room?

Yes you can. There is absolutely no harm in doing so.

Can I use a mirror?

Definitely you can. It won’t cause any harm.

What should I eat?

You should take routine diet. There are no dietary recommendations. Diabetic patients may need to further tighten their blood glucose control as steroids prescribed by doctors raise their blood sugar levels.

Do I need to get CT scan or MRI of my brain?

Typical cases of Bell’s palsy do NOT need any brain scans. In atypical cases, your doctor may ask for brain scan.

The information given here is intended for use of general public . It should not be taken as standard medical reference.

About the Author:

One of the most well known neurologists in Lahore, he is serving as Assistant Professor of Neurology at Lahore General Hospital. He is a graduate of King Edward Medical College and did residency in general medicine & neurology at Mayo Hospital Lahore. He did FCPS in neurology and moved to Lahore General Hospital, and has been working there since.


  1. Areesha Khan June 26, 2020 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Can I use earphones now that I am recovering
    Also I feel tingling in my hands and feet at night what to do in this case please address

  2. Areesha Khan October 1, 2020 at 12:37 am - Reply

    I just had bells palsy in june
    Now I have headache often once a week shall I come for a follow up?

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