Bell’s palsy is a condition that results in temporary paralysis of facial muscles due to a viral infection that inflames the facial nerve. The affected side of the face can display a drooping mouth, a sagging eyebrow and lower lid, and an inability to close the eye. As a result, most people with Bell’s palsy suffer from an extreme form of dry eye known as exposure keratitis.
While Bell’s palsy is not life-threatening, the affected eye may appear teary, but it remains dry due to its inability to blink or close completely. It is recommended that those suffering from Bell’s palsy consult with an ophthalmologist. Treatment will likely involve the application of artificial tears on an hourly basis during the day and an ophthalmic ointment at night. It cannot be stressed enough, that lubrication is imperative to maintaining a healthy eye during the weeks or months of the condition’s duration.
Approximately 80 percent of people with Bell’s palsy recover within six months. But without proper care of the involved eye, you may suffer needless and permanent consequences such as ulceration and scarring of your eye’s cornea.
Bell’s palsy is more common in adults, in people with diabetes, and in pregnant women than in others. We recommend that you protect your vision with periodic professional eye examinations. At SUSSKIND & ALMALLAH EYE ASSOCIATES, P.A., we offer comprehensive eye examinations. We offer you the experience and credentials to provide you and your family with superior eye care. We’re currently accepting new patients. Call 732-349-5622 to schedule an appointment.