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How is it diagnosed?

Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
Checked by : Dr Chris Allen
Consultant Neurologist,
Cambridge, England

The doctor will review the symptoms and conduct an examination. Other causes of facial paralysis have to be excluded. The causes of facial paralysis other than Bell's palsy include an injury to the nerve (skull fracture), stroke, acute or chronic ear infection, tumour in the ear or in the parotid (salivary gland in front of the ear), and a viral illness such as shingles.

An ear, nose, throat, and a neurological exam will exclude most of the other causes of facial paralysis. A hearing test is done to check for an inner ear tumour. A CT scan of the head may be done to rule out a tumour in the ear or brain. Electrical testing on the nerve may be required to know the extent of damage.

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