Facial Nerve Paralysis – Bell’s Palsy

 

Facial nerve paralysis or Bell’s Palsy results in weakness of the facial muscles on one side of the face.  This condition can occur due to tumors, infections, stroke, or trauma.  If no reason is identified it is referred to as Bell’s Palsy. Patients have difficulty moving the affected side of the face.  In the eye area, this can result in difficulty blinking and closure of the eyes.  This may result in the eye drying out at night due to incomplete closure.  Side effects of this can be irritation, pain, and tearing with possible resulting infection and sometimes even loss of the eye.  It is important to lubricate the eye well during the day and especially at night.

Patients can sometimes regain function.  If the patient is in danger of developing severe dry eye or has not regained function after several months, there are surgical options that can be offered to help maintain good ocular health.  Dr. Parbhu’s fellowship training through the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery gives her the background needed to offer the optimal surgical treatments.  Lid weights can be placed in the upper eyelid to allow for closure of the eye at night.  Lower eyelid surgery can be performed to help provide better tone and anatomical position of the lower eyelid.

Midface lifting can help provide support as well as improve cosmesis due to the facial paralysis.  Brow lifting can also help some patients improve their field of vision.   Facial paralysis can be variable in its manifestation and so the surgical plan must be tailored to the individual patient. With Dr. Parbhu’s expertise in eyelid surgery, she can help assist the patient in coming up with a customized treatment plan.