For most people Bells Palsy arrives unexpectedly and goes away like it came.
It does need to be looked at by a professional and treated, though – it does go away in some cases without treatment but there is some risk for permanent disability/injury. I know someone who had Bells palsy twice in their lifetime; the first time they recovered completely. The second time they had permanent nerve damage.
There’s some evidence (latest studies) suggesting that big doses of prednisone and acyclovir administered as soon as possible and then taken for a month to six weeks thereafter gives the best chances for complete recovery. The rest of the treatment is looking after the eye that can’t close, using artificial tears when needed, and resting as necessary.
I had Bells Palsy 2 years ago. I had the aggressive program of treatment outlined above and within six weeks the facial droop was gone. I had a fair amount of facial pain from the regeneration of nerve fibers – it was quite painful – but it was also a good sign so I didn’t feel too bad about it.
I was not able to play any sort of brass instrument for about four months – couldn’t at first, didn’t have control of my facial muscles – I regained control after six weeks or so but any kind of playing was quite painful. I didn’t start playing again until I had no pain at all, I was advised not to try, not to push, not to irritate those nerves. The few times I tried it was so painful I didn’t have a problem putting down the horn.
I have had some eye problems since, dryness and some loss of vision. If that’s the only vestige of damage left then I got off pretty easy, I think. Occasionally I have tingling in my face and that is worrisome – I always run to the mirror to see if the droop is back – but so far so good.
I hope your Mom makes a full recovery.