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Does Alcohol Affect Bell’s Palsy & What About Cold Weather?

Bell’s palsy refers to the sudden weakness on a particular side of a person’s face. It takes place whenever the facial nerve swells and squeezes. The affected side of one’s face droops and becomes weak.(1)

Bell’s palsy or facial palsy causes whenever the nerve controlling your face muscles inflames, swells, or compresses. Researchers believed that common cold, viral infection, or sore virus is the prime factor to contribute to the disorder.(2)

The symptoms of facial palsy or Bell’s palsy start quickly and reach its peak within only 2days. The severity of the symptoms ranges from weakness to permanent paralysis, which includes paralysis, twitching, and weakness.(3)

Bell’s palsy or facial palsy may strike individuals at almost every age and it takes place often in pregnant women and diabetic patients. Also, facial palsy may take place in people suffering from cold, influenza, and upper respiratory ailment. The condition is common among both women and men, while is rare among individuals after 60years or before 15years of age.(4)

Does Alcohol Affect Bell's Palsy?

Does Alcohol Affect Bell’s Palsy?

Medical researchers have observed that alcohol consumption does not have any harmful effect on the condition of Bell’s palsy and its symptoms. In simple words, there were low odds of facial palsy with the consumption of alcohol. Moreover, the cardioprotective and neuroprotective effects of alcohol consumption from mild to moderate have links with a reduction in risk related to Bell’s palsy.

Besides, a meta-analysis, in this case, revealed large numbers of cardiovascular outcomes related to coronary heart problems and reduction in the occurrence of stroke with moderate consumption of alcohol. Because of this, doctors recommend the consumption of alcohol in a moderate amount to induce various anti-inflammatory responses related to protein kinase C, adenosine receptors, heat shock proteins, and nitric oxide synthase, all of which lead to cardioprotective effects. In essence, neural and cardiovascular effects of alcohol may result in protective effects against the symptoms of Bell’s palsy condition.(5)

Does Cold Weather Affect Bell’s Palsy?

Research studies have highlighted that the rates of Bell’s palsy were high during the cold or winter seasons of the entire year. Moreover, the increased risk related to cold months has no relationship with climate, demographic and latitude effects in any place of the world. On the other side, a few other research studies have remained inconsistent in this matter, as they observed seasonal variations in the rates of facial palsy, according to which the numbers of cases were low during summer months.

A few of the doctors also said and found that exposure to cold weather is the prime factor related to triggering and reactivation of type 1 of herpes simplex virus. However, others have very low empirical support related to this point.

Large variations in temperatures during the day and night time, especially in desert areas and sudden, frequent or prolonged cold air exposure, which is common for soldiers during winters, are major aspects, which induce vasomotor variations in the human facial areas. These factors also initiate edematous neuritis development because of reflex ischemia and provoke the activation of herpes simplex virus again in ganglion cells.

On the other side, temperatures generally remain cold during winter months and warm in the southern latitude areas but there Bell’s palsy rates were high.

Considering each of these facts, we can say that whether cold outdoor air affects the risk related to Bell’s palsy or not is still doubtful or unclear in front of us.(6)


According to the research studies conducted and reported on alcohol intake, we should say that mild to moderate alcohol intake has no harmful effect on Bell’s palsy and alcohol does not trigger its symptoms. However, if we talk about the effect of cold weather on Bell’s palsy or facial palsy, we can say that the exact effect or risk is still doubtful. The reason for this is that we get mixed results from different research studies conducted on the patients of facial palsy towards the cold weather exposure.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 4, 2020

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