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  • Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII causing an inability to control facial muscles on the affected side. Several conditions can cause facial paralysis, e.g., brain tumor, stroke, myasthenia gravis, and Lyme disease. However, if no specific cause can be identified, the condition is known as Bell's palsy. Named after Scottish anatomist Charles Bell, who first described it, Bell's palsy is the most common acute mononeuropathy and is the most common cause of acute facial nerve paralysis. Bell's palsy is defined as an idiopathic unilateral facial nerve paralysis, usually self-limiting. The hallmark of this condition is a rapid onset of partial or complete paralysis that often occurs overnight. In rare cases, it can occur bilaterally resulting in total facial paralysis. It is thought that an inflammatory condition leads to swelling of the facial nerve. The nerve travels through the skull in a narrow bone canal beneath the ear. Nerve swelling and compression in the narrow bone canal are thought to lead to nerve inhibition, damage or death.

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