Facial palsy

Also known as: facial paralysis, Bell’s palsy

What is facial palsy

Facial palsy is a condition that affects the muscles of the face. It can result in a loss of facial movement and expression.

What causes facial palsy?

There are many different causes of facial palsy, including:

  • Bell’s palsy: Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial palsy, accounting for about 70% of cases. It is thought to be caused by facial nerve inflammation, which a viral infection can trigger.
  • Stroke: Strokes are another common cause of facial palsy. When a stroke occurs, it can damage the facial nerve.
  • Tumours: Tumours on the brainstem or near the facial nerve can also cause facial palsy.
  • Trauma: Injury to the face, such as a skull fracture or facial laceration, can damage the facial nerve.
  • Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Lyme, can also cause facial palsy.
  • Infectious diseases: Other infectious diseases, such as mumps, measles, and HIV, can also damage the facial nerve.
  • Medical procedures: Some medical procedures, such as surgery on the ear or face, can also damage the facial nerve.

What are the symptoms of facial palsy?

The symptoms of facial palsy include:

  • Weakness of one side of face developing over several days
  • Drooping eyelid or mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Drooling
  • Irritation in the eyes
  • Lack of taste.

Are you affected by facial palsy? 

If you’re affected by facial palsy, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the over 600 neurological conditions. Individually, they are rare, but they affect 1 in 6 people, combined.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with facial palsy, from emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy, to social activities to help people with brain injuries from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.


Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Do you care for someone with facial palsy? 

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with facial palsy? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including facial palsy, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

Library of Resources

The Brain Charity's library has a range of resources on facial palsy and on many other disability-related issues.

Support groups

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Facial Palsy UK group meets every two months on a Saturday morning at The Brain Charity. Call our reception on 0151 298 2999 for more details.

Find out about some of the support groups that meet atThe Brain Charity here.

Other charities

Facial Palsy UK

Facial Palsy UK (the biggest organization and support group dedicated to raising funds for facial palsy research and acting as an information hub for facial palsy in the UK)

Website: www.facialpalsy.org.uk 

Telephone: 0300 030 9333

Email: info@facialpalsy.org.uk

Changing Faces

Changing Faces (an organization providing support and raising public awareness for everyone with a visible difference)

Website: www.changingfaces.org.uk

Telephone: 0345 450 0275

Email: info@changingfaces.org.uk