One side of the face drops, with inability to close the eye causing a dry ocular surface.
Facial Nerve Palsy (FNP) is a drooping of one side of the face. There are over 50 causes of FNP and it can happen to anyone at any time of their life. The most common cause is known as Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is an idiopathic condition, meaning that no conclusive cause has been established. Links have been made with viruses (including herpes, influenza and respiratory tract infections), as well as a depleted immune system and stress. Although no certain cause has been established, sufferers of Bell’s palsy should understand that they are unwell. It is important to get plenty of rest even if they have no other symptoms and to maintain a healthy diet.
If you are at work or school, it may be necessary to take some time to recover.
Having FNP can be a frightening and confusing time. In this condition, the eye needs to be adequately protected primarily using lubricants and gels. Facial physiotherapy is also essential especially during the early phase of the condition. Speak to a specialist to understand whether surgery will be necessary in the long term to protect your eye.