Bell's Palsy

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After damage to the face, skull, or inner ear, it is possible for an infection to travel inward and attack the facial nerve; such infections are believed to be typically linked to the Herpes Simplex-1 virus. Symptoms include crooked smiles, twitches, tearing or dry eyes, difficulty in blinking, paralysis, and perspiration, as well as damage to hearing and taste (and pain).

The majority of people who get this have a spontaneous recovery. Those who don't will need facial-muscle rehabilitation. Treatment usually involves anti-viral medication. It is essential that treatment be begun as soon as possible; if you notice such symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Sara writes:

I had an orbital that got an infection. Not a bad one; nothing I couldn't handle. It went away, and one morning on my way home from work my face felt like it was really heavy on one side. By that night my face on the left side was almost completely paralyzed. Doctors linked it back to the infection in the cartilage and because of the fast spread it went straight to my lymph nodes and did that. It hasn't stopped me from getting piercings, but I wish I'd never heard of it because I thought I'd had a stroke. Scary, scary....