There is no specific test available to diagnose Bell’s Palsy. A doctor may look at your face then ask you to perform facial movements like blinking.
Other conditions like tumors, Lyme disease, and strokes can cause facial muscle weakness that can be similar to the indicators of Bell’s Palsy.
Your doctor may suggest the following tests if the symptoms are not clear:
- Imaging scans to look for pressure on your facial nerve
- Electromyography, or EMG, to look for nerve damage and how severe the damage is.
- Blood tests to look for conditions like Lyme disease
How Do You Treat Bell’s Palsy?
In situations wherein doctors know the cause of Bell’s Palsy, then treatment will be done to address that problem. But in general, there is no specific Bell’s Palsy treatment. The forms of treatment that doctors use usually depend on what symptoms the patient has.
However, most patients can fully recover regardless of whether treatment is provided or not. Recovery time often depends on how severe the nerve damage was, but Bell’s palsy recovery signs may be apparent 2 weeks after the initial symptoms.
While every case is different, doctors usually prescribe the following medications:
- Antiviral drugs
Additionally, doctors might recommend physical therapy to prevent permanent contractures in your facial muscles. A physical therapist may teach you how to exercise and massage your facial muscles.
Decompression surgery was done in the past to relieve pressure on a facial nerve. However, this surgery is not as recommended. People may get permanent hearing loss or facial nerve injury from decompression surgery complications.