The natural history of Bell's palsy

Am J Otol. 1982 Oct;4(2):107-11.


The purpose of this investigation was to explain the spontaneous course of idiopathic facial palsy without treatment of any kind. The investigation included 1011 patients seen over a fifteen-year period. The patients were checked at short intervals until remission occurred, and these checks were discontinued only when normal function was restored or after a period of one year. For 85 percent of patients the first signs of remission were observed within three weeks after the outbreak; for the last 15 percent remission occurred three to six months later. Seventy-one percent recovered normal mimical function of the face, 13 percent had insignificant sequelae, and the last 16 percent had permanently diminished function with contracture and associated movements.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Facial Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Facial Paralysis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Stapedius / physiopathology
  • Taste Disorders / diagnosis
  • Tears / metabolism
  • Time Factors