7TH NERVE 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 is usually on the side of the facial nerve palsy). There are several ways to improve the function of the eyelids and the appearance of the eye. Some eyes will need a lid loading procedure of the upper lid to allow for an improved blink, while others will only need tightening of the lower lid and aggressive ocular surface lubrication. Dr. Zatezalo will evaluate your condition and offer you a solution to your Bell’s Palsy/Facial Nerve Palsy. Dr. Zatezalo is a consultant and sits on the Board at the Center for Facial Nerve Recovery where he performs many nonpublished off label cutting edge techniques to help patients with Bell’s Palsy.