What are the signs and symptoms of Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Signs and symptoms of Bell palsy include the following:

  • Acute onset of unilateral upper and lower facial paralysis (over a 48-hr period)

  • Posterior auricular pain

  • Decreased tearing

  • Hyperacusis

  • Taste disturbances

  • Otalgia

  • Weakness of the facial muscles

  • Poor eyelid closure

  • Aching of the ear or mastoid

  • Tingling or numbness of the cheek/mouth

  • Epiphora

  • Ocular pain

  • Blurred vision

  • Flattening of forehead and nasolabial fold on the side affected by palsy

  • When patient raises eyebrows, palsy-affected side of forehead remains flat

  • When patient smiles, face becomes distorted and lateralizes to side opposite the palsy

See Clinical Presentation for more specific information on the signs and symptoms of Bell palsy.

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