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Bell's palsy is an acute, peripheral facial paresis of unknown cause. Fortunately, many patients with Bell's palsy recover completely. However, about 15% end up with sequelae. The more severe the initial paresis, the poorer the patient's prognosis. Age is also an influencing factor, with less than 50% of patients aged over 60 achieving complete recovery.1
The existing literature suggests that Bell's palsy is caused by a reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1 and in some cases of varicella zoster virus (sine herpete). The inflammatory reaction against the virus causes swelling of the nerve, which consequently …
Competing interests None.