Maine eye doctor Jordan Sterrer, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland commented on Bell’s Palsy. “Permanent damage to the cornea can result from Bell’s Palsy if the eye is not properly cared for," explained Dr. Sterrer. Bell’s Palsy is a form of facial paralysis that results from a dysfunction of the facial nerve, or cranial nerve VII. Inflammation causes the nerves on one side of the face to stop working. The exact cause of the inflammation is unknown, although it is believed that many cases of Bell’s Palsy are a result of viral conditions, such as the Herpes virus that causes cold sores.
Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy include drooping on one side of the face, drooling, numbness on one side of the face, pain in or behind the ear, loss of taste, the inability to close the eyelid all the way, and excessive dryness or tearing of the eye. Bell’s Palsy can be treated with antiviral medications if the physician believes the cause to be viral or steroids if the cause is believed to be inflammatory. Treatment specific to the eye includes the use of artificial tears and patching the eye while sleeping so the cornea does not remain exposed. It is also recommended to use an ointment on the eye at night to keep it lubricated. Patients may also need to use their fingers to manually open and close the eyelid throughout the day. Most patients recover from Bell’s Palsy in one to two months without any treatment with medications; however, a small number of people may have permanent muscle weakness on that side of their face.
If you have any questions about Bell’s palsy, please contact Eyecare Medical Group at 1-888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.
Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York, Maine.