What is Bell’s palsy and how I found out I had it!

So I had been suffering from the worst ear ache which for me is weird because I’ve never had an ear infection. So I decided it was time to go to the doctor. When I was getting ready in the morning putting on my make up as I was due to go to work right after, I noticed my one eyebrow was lower than the other. I just figured it was nothing and I was having a weird eyebrow day. All I cared about was not having the shooting pain in my ear anymore. 

The GP looked in my ear and to my dismay couldn’t find anything. She looked at my eyebrow and asked if I had noticed the left side of my face was starting to drop. I had to do a series of tests pulling various faces, lifting my arms and moving my legs. All of this I know now is to eliminate the possibility of a stroke and wow that was scary. It was then she told me I had Bell’s palsy. The doctor was actually great and explained what Bell’s palsy was but the information a GP can give is very limited. She suggested I go to hospital but living in a rural area and as I was due to work it’s not always accessible as I’m sure others may experience too. I was prescribed 50mg of steroids which the pharmacy screwed up and have me 5mg luckily I was able to sort it the next day. 

So what is Bell's Palsy? 

It’s when one side of your face becomes paralysed and therefore droops as the nerves aren’t responding. The nerves stem from behind the ear and branch across the side of your face; they control the muscles that help you express emotions. 

One thing the GP doesn’t tell you is that it will get worse before it gets better and that was the scariest thing for me. Mine started out really minor with my mouth only slightly affected and my eye wasn’t impacted at all. After diagnosis my mouth dropped even more and I stopped blinking, closing my one eye became really hard. This can throw off your balance and for me made me really dizzy and gave me bad vertigo. I struggled with walking as it made me wobbly. 

As there isn’t a lot of information you can feel hopeless and not sure if you will return to normal. I found Reddit really helpful and was able to talk to others about their experience. This can be a bit mixed in terms of your feelings but you need to remember no one person is the same!  Some people heal 100% within weeks and others may always have some kind of remaining issue. 

What causes Bell's Palsy? 

There is no one thing that can cause Bell’s palsy but the biggest common thread seems to be stress. I know I’m under a lot of stress and my body was just burnt out emotionally and physically. If you can step away from some stressing factors then doing this will help a lot. 

Don’t listen to the conspiracy theorists. It's frustrating when you’re in places like Twitter trying to reach out to fellow sufferers and ransom anti vaxers blame the covid vaccines. Personally the only link to Bell’s palsy I and covid I can see is that covid weakens your immune system. Nobody is talking about the huge stress being put on us with rising prices and how hard it was being in isolation. 

What’s the treatment? 

The only treatment a doctor in the U.K. will give you is a ten day cause of steroids at 50mg a day. It's important to get this as early in diagnosis as possible. If you have an infection you may also be prescribed antibiotics but I didn’t have these. I’m happy to write about my recovery process and what I have been doing to get to the stage I’m at now. 

Have you suffered from Bell’s palsy? Let me

know how you’re doing.


  1. I think I might have this, too, but I struggle with slight droop and numbness. I might also have a condition called Hemi -facial spasm which resembles bell's but has to do with compression of nerves in the face because of muscles or large veins. They treat it with Botox, so if you find steroidal treatment doesn't work ask about your other treatment options. Botox has helped me a little but I want a thorough diagnosis by a specialist, especially to rule out a stroke. Here in Canada specialists are really backlogged so it'll take me a while to get a proper diagnosis.


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