Author Affiliation: Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, Colorado.
Bell palsy is an inflammatory condition of the facial nerve that is associated with herpes simplex or varicella virus infections and can result in temporary or permanent facial disfigurement and pain. With an annual incidence of 13 to 43 per 100 000 population, more than 60 000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.1,2 Approximately 15% of patients with Bell palsy will have persistent facial nerve dysfunction and related impairments in quality of life.3
Steiner JF. Treatment of Bell PalsyTranslating Uncertainty Into Practice. JAMA. 2009;302(9):1003-1004. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1280