Bell's palsy. But blood tests can be used to rule out Lyme disease and other infections. More Information CT scan Electromyography (EMG) MRI Show more related information Treatment Most people with Bell's palsy recover fully — with or without treatment. There's no one-size-fits-all treatment for Bell's palsy. But your health care provider may suggest medications or physical therapy to help speed your recovery. Surgery is rarely an option for Bell's palsy. Because the eye on the affected side doesn't close, it's important to take steps to protect and care for that eye. Using lubricating eye drops during the day and an eye ointment at night will help keep your eye moist. Wearing glasses or goggles during the day and an eye patch at night can protect your eye from getting poked or scratched. In severe cases of Bell's palsy, an eye doctor may need to monitor the eye. Medications Commonly used medications to treat Bell's palsy include: Corticosteroids, such as prednisone. These are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. If they can reduce the swelling of the facial nerve, the nerve will fit more comfortably within the bony corridor that surrounds it. Corticosteroids may work best if they're started within several days of when your symptoms started. Steroids started early improve the likelihood of complete recovery. Antiviral drugs. The role of antivirals remains unsettled. Antivirals alone have shown no benefit compared with placebo. Antivirals added to steroids may benefit some people with Bell's palsy, but this is still unproved. Despite this, an antiviral drug, such as valacyclovir (Valtrex) or acyclovir (Zovirax), is sometimes given in combination with prednisone in people with severe facial palsy. Physical therapy Paralyzed muscles can shrink and shorten, which may be permanent. A physical therapist can teach you how to massage and exercise your facial muscles to help prevent this from occurring. Surgery In the past, decompression surgery was used to relieve the pressure on the facial nerve by opening the bony passage that the nerve passes through. Today, decompression surgery isn't recommended. Facial nerve injury and permanent hearing loss are possible risks associated with this surgery. Rarely, plastic surgery may be needed to correct lasting facial nerve problems. Facial reanimation surgery helps make the face look more even and may restore facial movement. Examples of this type of surgery include an eyebrow lift, an eyelid lift, facial implants and nerve grafts. Some procedures, such as an eyebrow lift, may need to be repeated after several years.