Bell's Palsy (Facial Palsy/ Paralysis)
The facial muscles are controlled by a nerve called the Facial nerve. There are two facial nerves - one for either side.
Dysfunction of one of the nerves causes a facial asymmetry with inability to close the eye fully. Often food, saliva and liquids dribble out from the angle of the mouth in the early stages of the disease. There is also an impaired ability to close the eye on the affected side. Also the face turns to one side when one attempts to smile.
The diagnosis is quite easy and straight forward. No major tests are required in most cases.
In Bell's palsy, as in many other neurological illnesses a lot depends upon physiotherapy. More physiotherapy usually means faster recovery.
Extra precautions must be taken during the period of facial palsy to prevent corneal ulcerations. Damage to the eye (cornea) may occur as the eyelid is unable to close and protect the eye.
Usually the outcome is excellent with most patients showing near total recovery.
Here are few links of interest: