Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is the likelihood of getting Bell's Palsy? What is the incidence of this condition in the US? "
I am a 32 year old African American female in good health. Very afraid that I will get Bells Palsy.
Thank you for your question, and I would recommend discussing it further with your doctor. Bell's Palsy is a condition in which the facial nerve, the nerve responsible for moving the mimetic muscles of your face, becomes paralyzed in either a temporary or permanent fashion. It is quite uncommon, and occurs in about 2 of every 10,000 people annually according to one source, and will happen to slightly fewer than 1 out of every 50 people during the course of his or her life. For that reason, it is likely that you will know or have known someone who has this condition, as it is not uncommon. The good news is that a majority of patients spontaneously recover normal or near normal function with time, and there are medications that can be used to help improve the odds of recovering normal facial movement. There is little that is known currently about prevention of this condition, and so rapid treatment in the rare instance of occurrence is the most common therapy. If you have specific concerns or reasons to feel that you are at increased risk over other people, please speak with your doctor to determine what you can do to decrease those risks. Please speak with your doctor.