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Bell's Palsy

Symptoms often subside without treatment

(HealthDayNews) -- Bell's palsy, a form of facial paralysis resulting from damage to the 7th cranial nerve, afflicts some 40,000 Americans each year, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The most likely cause is the common cold sore virus. One-sided facial paralysis is the main symptom, but others may include pain, tearing, drooling, hypersensitivity to sound in the affected ear, and impairment of taste.

Despite the disorder's ominous symptoms, the prognosis for Bells' palsy is generally good. With or without treatment, most people get significantly better within two weeks, and about 80 percent recover completely within three months. For some, symptoms may linger a bit longer, and in a few cases, they may never completely disappear.

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