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Impact on Eyes

Avatar Dr. Kyle Bickel Jun 21, 2019

One of the main issues that we see with Bell’s Palsy is that the entire side of the face is weakened. In some situations, this would weaken the mouth – people can deal with that. In other situations, it would weaken the wrinkling of your nose – people can deal with that. Some people can’t raise up the eyebrows to make a funny face – people can deal with that. The one thing that we’re trying to treat (other than the inflammation itself around the nerve) is to make sure that we protect the eye. The eye is the only thing that we really care about in the first several weeks or in the long-term for Bell’s Palsy. The reason is: the muscle that controls the closure of the eye is controlled by the facial nerve. If that muscle is not working, you have a very weak blink reflex. In addition, when you sleep, you can’t close your eye and maintain the moisture. So the main thing that the main problem that arises is keratitis, keratoconjunctivitis, different types of irritation of the eyeball itself. So when you’re going through treatment of Bell’s Palsy, the main things that we advise for patients: number one is to take the steroids they’re given. If the doctor elects, they will give them the antiviral as well. However, the most important thing that they need to do is to make sure their eye is maintained in a very, very moist and controlled way. Meaning they would either use ointment and the eye at night, tape on the eye at night, or put a moisture chamber on the eye at night. These are all available over the counter.

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