Although a mild case of Bell's palsy normally disappears within a month, recovery from a case involving total paralysis varies. Complications may include:

  • Irreversible damage to your facial nerve
  • Misdirected regrowth of nerve fibers, resulting in involuntary contraction of certain muscles when you're trying to move others (synkinesis) — for example, when you smile, the eye on the affected side may close
  • Partial or complete blindness of the eye that won't close, due to excessive dryness and scratching of the cornea, the clear protective covering of the eye
Mar. 27, 2012