Bell’s Palsy

The facial nerve (the seventh cranial nerve) controls facial expression and eyelid function (the eyelid blink mechanism). The facial nerve can malfunction for several reasons. When we are unable to explain the reason for malfunction, we call this a Bell’s Palsy.

Patients that have a Bell’s Palsy often recover some or all of the function of the facial nerve. However, there are cases when the function of the nerve is not recovered and the surface of the eye can be compromised since the eyelids are not closing with each blink. In addition, the tone of the eyelid muscles is weakened which may produce an asymmetry between the two eyes (the larger eye on the side of the facial nerve palsy).

There are several Bell’s Palsy treatment options to improve the function of the eyelids and the appearance of the eye. Some eyes will need a weight placed in the upper lid to allow for an improved blink, while others will only need tightening of the lower lid. Your surgeon will evaluate your condition and offer you a solution to your Bell’s Palsy/Facial Nerve Palsy. These surgeries can be performed with local anesthesia as outpatient procedures at Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons.

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