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Diseases » Bell's Palsy » Summary
 

What is Bell's Palsy?

What is Bell's Palsy?

  • Bell's Palsy: A usually temporary facial nerve disorder where a part or all of the face becomes suddenly paralysed.
  • Bell's Palsy: A syndrome characterized by the acute onset of unilateral FACIAL PARALYSIS which progresses over a 2-5 day period. Weakness of the orbicularis oculi muscle and resulting incomplete eye closure may be associated with corneal injury. Pain behind the ear often precedes the onset of paralysis. This condition may be associated with HERPESVIRUS 1, HUMAN infection of the facial nerve. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1376)
    Source - Diseases Database

Bell's Palsy is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Bell's Palsy, or a subtype of Bell's Palsy, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Ophanet, a consortium of European partners, currently defines a condition rare when it affects 1 person per 2,000. They list Bell's Palsy as a "rare disease".
Source - Orphanet

Bell's Palsy: Introduction

Types of Bell's Palsy:

Broader types of Bell's Palsy:

How many people get Bell's Palsy?

Incidence (annual) of Bell's Palsy: 40,000 annual cases in Americans
Incidence Rate of Bell's Palsy: approx 1 in 6,800 or 0.01% or 40,000 people in USA [about data]
Prevalance of Bell's Palsy: This nerve disorder afflicts approximately 40,000 Americans each year. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Bell's Palsy Information Page: NINDS)

Who gets Bell's Palsy?

Profile for Bell's Palsy: It can strike almost anyone at any age; however, it disproportionately attacks pregnant women and people who have diabetes, influenza, a cold, or some other upper respiratory ailment. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Bell's Palsy Information Page: NINDS)

How serious is Bell's Palsy?

Prognosis of Bell's Palsy: Good. Many improve within 2 weeks, 80% within 3 months.
Complications of Bell's Palsy: see complications of Bell's Palsy
Prognosis of Bell's Palsy: The prognosis for Bell's palsy is generally very good. With or without treatment, most patients begin to get significantly better within 2 weeks, and about 80 percent recover completely within 3 months. For some, however, the symptoms may last longer. In a few cases, the symptoms may never completely disappear. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Bell's Palsy Information Page: NINDS)

What causes Bell's Palsy?

Causes of Bell's Palsy: see causes of Bell's Palsy
Causes of Bell's Palsy: Researchers in Japan identified the common cold sore virus, herpes simplex, as the likely cause of most cases of Bell's palsy. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Bell's Palsy Information Page: NINDS)
Risk factors for Bell's Palsy: see risk factors for Bell's Palsy

What are the symptoms of Bell's Palsy?

Symptoms of Bell's Palsy: see symptoms of Bell's Palsy

Complications of Bell's Palsy: see complications of Bell's Palsy

Bell's Palsy: Testing

Diagnostic testing: see tests for Bell's Palsy.

Misdiagnosis: see misdiagnosis and Bell's Palsy.

How is it treated?

Treatments for Bell's Palsy: see treatments for Bell's Palsy
Research for Bell's Palsy: see research for Bell's Palsy

Society issues for Bell's Palsy


Hospitalization statistics for Bell's Palsy: The following are statistics from various sources about hospitalizations and Bell's Palsy:

  • 0.022% (2,806) of hospital consultant episodes were for Bellís Palsy in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 90% of hospital consultant episodes for Bellís Palsy required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 41% of hospital consultant episodes for Bellís Palsy were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 59% of hospital consultant episodes for Bellís Palsy were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more statistics...»

Organs Affected by Bell's Palsy:

Organs and body systems related to Bell's Palsy include:

Name and Aliases of Bell's Palsy

Main name of condition: Bell's Palsy

Class of Condition for Bell's Palsy: autoimmune possibly

Other names or spellings for Bell's Palsy:

facial nerve palsy, refrigeration palsy, facial paralysis, Facial palsy, Facial cranial nerve paralysis

Idiopathic facial paralysis Source - Diseases Database

Bell palsy, Facial cranial nerve paralysis, Facial palsy, Facial cranial nerve paralysis, Facial palsy
Source - Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Bell's Palsy: Related Conditions

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Bell's Palsy:

  • Facial nerve paralysis
  • Facial paralysis
  • Idiopathic facial paralysis
  • Unilateral facial paralysis
  • Cranial nerve VII paralysis
  • Seventh cranial nerve paralysis
  • Neurologic disorder
  • Paralysis on one side of face
  • Weakness on one sideof face
 

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