On call: Bell's palsy
Q. Last month I developed severe weakness on the whole left side of my face. My doctor diagnosed Bell's palsy and referred me to a neurologist. I recovered before I got to see her, so I didn't keep the appointment. Although my face is now back to normal, I'd like to know more about the condition. What can you tell me?
A. Although it sounds exotic, Bell's palsy isn't all that rare, occurring in one of every 4,000 adults per year. And while it sounds very serious, it's usually a mild condition that resolves almost completely in most people.