How is the diagnosis of Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP) made?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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The diagnosis of Bell palsy must be made on the basis of a thorough history and physical examination, as well as the use of diagnostic testing when necessary. Bell palsy is a diagnosis of exclusion. Clinical features of the disorder that may help to distinguish it from other causes of facial paralysis include the sudden onset of unilateral facial paralysis and the absence of signs and symptoms of CNS, ear, and cerebellopontine angle disease.

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