Facial Palsy UK
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3-1/2 Weeks Bell's Palsy Update

I'm on my 3-1/2 weeks having Bell's Palsy with no signs of movement. I can't move my eyebrow, nostril, cheek and lips. Still frozen. I'm getting frustrated. I did the 10 day PRednisone/Antivrals from the first day I got this facial weakness. Even the urgent clinic doctor told me that I'm on a mild case and probably clear by 2 weeks, which gave me a lot of hopes! I'm doing acupuncture which I started like day 10, and still doing it on weekly basis. It helped me relaxed. My face is not droopy at all, well there's droopiness if you look longer and closer but not noticeable, that's why I thought I'll heal faster. When I had a follow-up MRI result check up yesterday - my neurologist told me that they still found a swelling behind my ear on the MRI result. So i guess, that's why I can't still move my face. All my blood results are normal. So he put me on prednisone/anti-virals again for 30 days in a low dose, and recommended me to do the TENS check up to help the nerves more to kick in. So waiting for my appointment.

I don't feel tenderness or soreness in my face though I had that on the 2nd week (it's really painful that I can't touch my face) . Right now just a mild pain behind the ear and near bottom of jaw (though it's getting stronger today but still manageable pain), not so frequent mild pain on the face and twitching chin whenever I tried lip exercises. I'm taking vitamins as well, not sure if I'm overdoing it, but I'm taking Vitamins B12, B-complex, D, C, Omega 3 Fish oil. I tried black seed oil on the 2nd week, but discontinue it, as I'm scared of any side effects consuming it. Trying to stay away with the junk foods, caffeine as well. I lost weight because I'm eating less carbs. Hope the steriods/antiviral will work. Please make it work. Hope I can regain movement this week! I'm trying to light up myself and putting everything in here for an outlet. Hope I can get some advice and fighting spirit with everyone getting through this. I missed my symmetrical smile. Wish me luck guys! Thanks!

17 Replies

Hang in there, i have had it for 6 yrs

STRESS was my issue

add folic acid+Stress Complex to your regimen of vitamins

accupuncture yes

shea butter with vigorous or as muxh as you can stand facial massages

Drink ONLY spring water

less chemical imbalance the better

Do everything it takes to heal on a cellular level

I only took tylenol and hot epson salt with baking soda baths for pain

Submerge body and face leave your nose out for air.

Just relax and get LOTS of sleep

laugh more and stress less.

i was depressed and hid for 1 yr

you have to be strong and i know people stare and are cruel but push past it.

This thing<facial palsy> feeds on emotion and stress.

Oh and dont drink alcohol

***drunk face*** i know you picture it in your mind....

Keep in touch


Thanks a lot 803Babygurl. Lately, i can sleep for 5-6 hours at night only, don’t know if that’s the effect of getting back to steriods eventhough im taking it in the morning and lunch. Now, im officially at 4 weeks without any progress in movement. My pain tolerances are all manageable and come and go. Wish i got twitches or spasms but i seldom had them, just 2-3 times a day then stop. The only improvement which i think is already big for me is that i can eat well now, my taste is ok and i feel like normal when not talking because there no heaviness on the paralyzed side. Not until i talked or laughed that’s when i realized i had assymetrical face. Its just the movement is all zero till now. What kind of facial massages are you doing? Have you tried castor oil pack?


I have tried everything lol


eat healthy

drink plenty water and remove stress

Vitamin regimen

That and accupuncture

Any feeling or pain is progress

my eye twitch so bad i cant see sometime

Also i found that putting an eye patch on my good eye (((((only if you can blink<keeps eye moist>)))))) and watch tv

Naturally you will squint, laugh or move your face while watching tv....also

Chew laffy taffy...or peanuts on the bad side

only if you feel up to it.

If your face starts to droop STOP

it onky means you are forcing your recovery and need to slow down


Ask your doctor to give you a prescription for Acyclovir.... this has worked for me.... it's not expensive.... you will see dramatic results.... how I came across this .... I went to my eye doctor and he had Bell's palsy said he took that medication.... it works go to your doctor and get the prescription..... I have done everything from steroids to therapy and not until I started taking this medication did I see any kind of improvement at all .... my eye is almost back to normal my face as well ... my mouth is good no more numbness my tongue is not in my way or swollen anymore... I can eat normally.... it does take it's toll on you I have to say .... I wish you well please let me know how you are doing


Hi Sallygirl. Im still taking the Valacyclovir hcl 500mg per day. I think it’s the same thing, it’s an antiviral medication that i take together with the prednisone. Im still taking prednisone for 20mg/day. I wished i ‘ll see some improvements in terms of movement. its been 6 weeks.


Hi, I found acupuncture really helpful, I was lucky and my neighbour trained in China, I believed in him and the treatment, which I think is important. For me it was useful to share with him the sensations that started to run through my face after I started to feel sensations, and with his Chinese background he explained what he thought was going on from a Chinese perspective - which can seem, a bit bizarre to Westerners. He also recommended moxibustion, here the heat from the tip of a cigar like object is used to massage the face - the tip never touches the skin. It worked for me. I had no feeling, then moved on to a sensation of numbness finally I am almost there. I personally do not believe in recovery reaching a plateau - it is just that the increments get smaller and you have to look harder. I devised a few exercises myself I felt they worked for me, so I did them - it gave me a sense of doing something. never stop trying. Keep smiling


Thanks Seeujimmy! Im doing acupuncture since the 2nd week of bells palsy and up until now. He put electric stimulation on my last 2 sessions. I’m just wishing for at least slight movements. I dont have any face tightness, but hearing sensitivity still there. I wished my hearing will get better as I think it’ll start my nerves to get back to moving. Just tingling sensation like some current crawling under my face is new to me this week.


The advantage I had was the acupuncturist I went to was a neighbour and a friend, so I had complete belief in what he did. He had also trained in Taiwan so he was aware and could do the moxibustion treatment. The first stage I had was feeling nothing then moved on to feeling numb - he looked at that as a big step forward. Also I could chat to him about the sensations I started to feel in my face as the acupuncture took effect, like flows of tiny sensations running across parts of my face. He related this to Chinese Medical thought - the "chi" and all the Chinese concepts that appear strange to westerners. I think that is what you are describing. In layman terms the flows are all blocked up and the treatment is encouraging the flows and that is what is running across your face.............. could be seriously wrong but it is what I felt. Keep smiling


Zed, I haven't finished reading through all the replies yet but wanted to tell you to stop with the electrical stimulation by the acupuncturist. I am in my 6th month of BP. I have all my movement back. The problem for me now synkinesis. Every ENT, Nuerologist and plastic surgeon that I have seen says that electrical stim makes synkinesis worse. Interestingly, the 2 sessions I had of elect stim while I was seeing the acupuncturist focused on the two areas where I have synkinesis. This whole thing is so frustrating and it's impossible to find a concensus on what to do and not do. I am about to start some botox to paralyze the muscles that are moving when they shouldn't.

The thing that has proved the most beneficial to me is to approach this with a sense of humor and to practice self acceptance. I lost 6 months of my life wishing I was the same as before and that this hadn't happened to me. Remember, you are the same person inside even though your exterior has been affected. I find people are very compassionate once you tell them what is going on. Of course you don't tell strangers and random people.... But then it doesn't matter what they think anyway. Good luck to you.


Hi ZED9256, The only advice I can give is from my own experience and re-posted here from 2 years ago but is as relevant today as it was then and may help those who are looking for feedback from those who have experienced a full recovery.

First off, It is a distressing affliction that strike indiscriminatory. The first thing is do not stress,it will get better. The most important thing is getting started and sticking with the steroid treatment ASAP. It is anti inflammatory so the quicker your cranial nerve starts to react the better.

Be patient. Everyone expects steroids to act immediately, They don't, it takes time. Even when you finish the course .

I had this in October 18th 2015. Initial sign was left eye was sore, as if I had an infection, This was followed a day and a half later with numbness in bottom left of lip, almost like a dental injection. Couldn't dislodge food between gum and cheek and it got progressively worse during the day. Checked in the mirror and mouth was drooping left corner. Unable to smile symmetrically. Speech slurred, unable to raise left brow or blink left eye, so it stayed opened. (Hence the dry eye). Unable to flare left nostril. Paralysis on the left side of the face-Couldn't hold toothpaste in mouth whilst brushing teeth. Unable to blow cheeks out. The joys of Bells Palsy! Oh, and another symptom that bothered me but pleased my partner.....Unable to whistle!

Most sufferers that you read about on having Bell's Palsy through googling or youtubing or on forums, are those on the whole, who are generally long term recoverees. People who recover quickly you tend not to hear about as it is over quite quickly, which doesn't help those searching for answers. Yes there are those that are unfortunate where recovery is a long and drawn out affair but most make a full recovery and on the whole relatively quickly, although never quickly enough if you know what I mean?

The following are some Do's and Don'ts. I am not a doctor and these are things that I have come across through hours/days of research. They don't replace professional medical advice but may be helpful.

Do embark on the steroids ASAP. If delayed longer than 72 hour they lose their efficacy and may consequently prolong and even compromise recovery. I took Omega 3 supplements and a B complex that was recommended by my partner.

Don't start to do facial exercises to force recovery. It is unhelpful but understandable to think it could help but, It is the cranial nerve that has been compromised because of swelling not your facial muscles. Forced facial exercise can promote the nerve to repath whilst recovering and connect to other facial muscles, i.e so you could end up winking when chewing.

Do use replacement tears for the Dry eye. Inability to blink cause dry eye and potential damage to the cornea, so apply replacement tear drops during the day and ointment over night. Luckily I was able to close and keep both eyelids shut overnight but some may need to tape it closed. I did wake some mornings with halos around lights but this was eliminated by applying some eye drops, so some drying out must have occurred

Don't expect miracle cures or your doctor to have more than steroids and eye drops/ointment to offer. There are only c 5000 cases in the UK per year out of c64 million! My doctor had only come across 1 in the previous 5 years

I finished my steroids on day 10 and there was no change. Day 13 no change (although if I didn't speak no one noticed there was anything wrong. Day 15 slight movement to left side of lip and improvement to blinking albeit left side slower than right.. day 18 more improvement to blinking, left brow rising. Day 21 able to purse lips and whistle day 23 equally flare to both nostrils. Smile has got wider.

As of date I originally posted the update thread of 29.11.15 from 18.10.15 A full recovery and no residual issues (so recovery was circa 6-7 weeks). Without doubt the most stressful time I can remember but it has passed as it will for you and many others too.

Everyone is different so recovery comes at different times. But the one common thing is it does take time, so be patient and don't force it.

I believe that stress and the immune system being compromised is a major factor in getting this, so rest and recuperation are key as well as the steroids and eye maintenance. Oh and one last thing as of today's date in 2018, still no residual issues to report.

Hope that this is helpful for you or anyone looking in .

Speedy recovery ZED9256!

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Thanks for the wonderful advices movieman1960! Its been 5 weeks with no movement. What i think is changing is my face not so droopy at all. Looks normal and no signs of bells palsy if im not talking. I wished i got at least movements at this time knowing im still on steriods/antiviral back by my neurologist. Though this week, im having a lot of pin-needles crawling moving under my face, then a little itchy sometimes. Was that the same tingling sensantions that you had during your recovery? Im just trying a fee facial exercises here and there, put castor oil pack on the face and once a week acupuncture. I just wished i got just slight movement this coming week, trying to be positive.

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The pin and needles is excellent positive news! It's a sure sign that your healing and recovery process is truly under way. It's the reduction in the inflammation of the nerve that was compressed that caused the issues in the first place. Just relax in the knowledge that the tingling and itchiness are the the signs you want to feel and see that demonstrate that you are on the mend. Don't try and force your recovery as you may inadvertently compromise the healing process and you definitely don't want that, do you?

Just relax and leave the facial exercise to the mime artists..................


Hi, one of the big pieces of advice is don't do too much too soon. For some,. This is a 3-6-9 month (not week) plus journey. When I was 1st diagnosed in December, I was told this may take 3-6 weeks to clear. I remember thinking I am absolutely not waiting 6 weeks for this to heal, what do I need to do to get it to heal faster. I wasn't give the OK from my neurologist to move to facial massage until about 6-7 weeks in. Once you hit that stage, try to be seen by a Physio who specialises in facial palsy Physio because you need a custom plan. I'll be at 3 months late this week and I've just gotten a tiny lip movement (not smile but millimetres movement) in my lip and a bit of muscle movement a over my brow. The journey for each person will be different and as frustrating as it is, you have to become patient because you are along for the rise of when your nerve is able to heal. If you do too much exercise, too soon, you run the risk of increasing the likelihood or severity of synkenisis (when the nerve heals with movements linked that shouldn't be, such as eveytime you smile, your eye closes).

As a starting point, see the videos on the facial palsy UK site. The massage and stretch ones are what my Physio had me doing. The massage is important to keep blood flowing to the muscles that aren't moving. The stretching (on the affected side, but you can do both) helps relieve tightness.

Good luck and try to be patient with your body healing. It will help not increase your stress around it.

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Sorry, here is the link to the Favial Palsy UK videos -- facialpalsy.org.uk/support/...

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Hi just checking if you guys sometimes bothered with the good side ears like hurting sometimes. Lately im getting that on my left side. My back of the neck hurts on the left that it includes the ear as well. It’s not that severe painful, but it’s painful that you need to stop a little while from what im doing. It is a come and go situation. My bell’s palsy is on the right side, im just getting paranoid that the other side will paralyze as well. Stressing myself, can’t help it.


Hi , I’m a year down the line with Bell’s palsy symptoms from facial shingles/ Ramsey hunt syndrome. I am under an NHS specialist clinic. As time has gone on, I have had more problems with the “normal” side of my face. In particular ear / blocked sinuses leading to infections ( something I have never had prior to Bells) . Physio told me to massage it out , which is helping. So based on my experience I would definitely massage areas on the functional side to help muscles / ease pain etc.


How are you getting on Zed?


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