Bell’s palsy can strike all of a sudden without any warning. It can develop after a number of hours and fully manifesting within 3 days. In about 80% of Bell’s palsy cases, the symptoms gradually disappear within weeks or even months.
When a person first experiences Bell’s palsy, he/she may be worried and confused that he/she has suffered a stroke. If you have Bell’s palsy the paralysis in your face affects half of the face that includes the forehead (for patients with a stroke, the forehead is not affected). Bell’s palsy patients will also not experience any weakness in their legs, arms or hands unlike in a stroke where the extremities and limbs of the body can suffer from generalized weakness.
Listed below are some of the primary symptoms of Bell’s palsy:
Dripping nostril on the affected part of your face due to muscle loss of control and flaccidity around the nose
Difficulties in speech – This includes problem in speaking clearly especially in the pronunciation of sounds and letters such as P and B.
Eating difficulties – This might be due to loss of control of the mouth and lips on the affected side of your face. You may experience involuntary drooling and some of your food may accumulate in some parts of your mouth.
The eye may experience drying on the affected part of your face – Because of eye functionality is also affected by Bell’s palsy a drying of the eye may be experienced. Eye watering can ensue because of the inability of the eye to close properly.
Paralysis – Complete or partial paralysis that includes the inability to entirely shut the problematic eye. This may be accompanied by a droop on the affected part of your face if your facial nerve damage is severe enough.
Sensitivity to loud noise
Altered or impaired sense of taste
Sharp pain in the inner ear when the paralysis begins
About 1% of people suffering from Bell’s palsy have symptoms that affect both sides of their face.