Bells Palsy is a condition that usually develops from a viral infection affecting the facial nerve. Initially, most people will feel pain behind their ears or a sense of numbness or pulling. They may notice difficulty drinking out of a glass. Alarmingly, they will also notice their face drooping over to one side. Some believe they may be having a stroke; however, this condition does not extend beyond one side of the face. Symptoms may last a few weeks for most people with complete resolution. However, there are a small percentage of individuals who will have residual deficits. At the time of onset, it is important to seek immediate medical care to treat the condition. This may include antibiotics and steroids for about a week to help hasten recovery. Patients will likely need to wear an eye patch and use eye drops during this time.
If there additional symptoms such as weakness, changes in speech, blurred or double vision, difficulty with walking, and numbness than further evaluation would need to be done for possible stroke.