Eye Protection Procedure

What Happens To Your Eyes When You Have A Paralyzed Face?

The ability to close your eyes is provided by the facial nerve. This nerve, when weakened or injured, prevents the eye from closing properly. The result is a compromised ability to blink or close your eyes while you sleep.

What Symptoms Are Associated With A Paralyzed Eye?

Because your eyelids cannot properly blink and cover your eyes while you sleep your eye may experience discomfort. Initially, your eye may begin to water excessively as your body attempts to keep your eyes moist. However, as the symptoms progress, you may begin to experience a foreign body sensation, pain, or swelling.

What Are The Risks Of Having A Paralyzed Eye?

Your eyelids are used to protect your eye by providing moisture and prevent physical damage from dust and small particles. When there is a compromise to the function of the eyelids, your eye is at risk for drying out, which can cause ulcerations and irreversible damage that may result in blindness.

What Can Be Done To Protect My Eye If My Face Is Paralyzed?

There are multiple options to protect your eye. Initially, it is important to keep the eye moist by frequently using artificial tears throughout the day. Occasionally, eye lubricant may be required additionally throughout the day to maintain moisture. It is important that while sleeping at night, the eye remains covered and taped down to prevent drying out throughout the night.

Surgical Intervention

Surgical interventions may also assist if the paralysis is permanent, or a prolonged recovery is expected. One surgery involves placing a gold weight in the eyelid that allows gravity to assist in eye closure. Platinum weights are available for individuals that have sensitivities or allergies to gold. Other options include tightening the lower eyelid, to enhance full closure of the eye. This procedure is known as a “tarsal strip lid tightening procedure”.

After Surgery and Recovery

Depending on your work, Dr. Mourad typically recommends taking a minimum of 3 days off before returning to work. He also discourages his patients from any heavy lifting. If you wear glasses, you may require some alterations if applicable. Dr. Mourad will provide you with pain medications, ointments, nasal sprays, all to help maximize your results. Dr. Mourad will then see you in visitations two weeks later, and then one month after that. Dr. Mourad enjoys the continued visitation of his patients and will see them in follow up for many years thereafter.

Meet Dr. Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS

Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS is board-certified in head and neck surgery and highly-trained in cosmetic plastic surgery and facial reconstruction. Dr. Mourad is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He treats many conditions, both cosmetic and complex, that affect the head, neck and entire facial area. Learn More »

Select Relevant Publications

Lee T, Wang L, Han R, Mourad M, and Ducic Y. Options in Repositioning the Asymmetric Brow from Paralysis and Trauma. Thieme Medical Publishers. 2017; 33(06): 627-638. Link to Article.

Mourad M, Arnaoutakis D, Sawahney R, Ducic Y. Use of the Giant Bilobed Flap in Head and Neck Reconstruction. Facial Plastics Surgery. 2016 Jun;32(3):320-324. Link to Article.

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