Bell's palsy is a type of stroke that generally affects one side of the face. If you have suffered a Bell's palsy stroke, you may have trouble closing your eye on the affected side. The nerves impacted by a Bell's palsy stroke are the ones responsible for closing the eye. If you are unable to blink or close your affected eye, however, you are more susceptible to some serious eye conditions. Finding out more about protecting your eye can be the best way to avoid problems with your vision because of a Bell's palsy stroke.

What Happens To Your Eye During A Bell's Palsy Attack

The exact cause of a Bell's palsy stroke is not known, but medical professionals do know that the seventh cranial nerve is the one usually affected. The seventh cranial nerve is responsible for the movement in some parts of your face. You may be able to open your eye, but unable to close it because another cranial nerve controls closing the eye. Because you may not be able to close your eye, protecting it becomes an important issue. In some sufferers, surgery is required to repair the lower eye lid due to the development of ectropian, when the lower eye lid protrudes outwards.

Avoiding The Discomfort Of Dry Eye

When your affected eye becomes dried out, you may experience pain that can be harsh and intolerable. For this reason, your doctor may prescribe ointments and eye washes for helping you maintain moisture in your eye. Keeping your eye from drying out is important to protect your vision and to increase comfort. You may be asked to wear an eye patch to help keep moisture in your eye as well. In some less severe cases, patients are required to only wear an eye patch while sleeping at night.

The Possibility Of Corneal Ulcers

If you have suffered a Bell's palsy incident, you are at greater risk for corneal ulcers, especially if you do not take the time to protect and care for your affected eye. A corneal ulcer is an extremely painful, infectious wound that develops in the cornea of the eye. People that are unable to close their eyes have more incidents of corneal ulcers. Following your doctor's instructions for protecting your eye is extremely import to avoid the development of a corneal ulcer. Bear in mind that some patients have lost their vision due to the side effects of a corneal ulcer.

Thankfully, treatment options available for Bell's palsy patients are successful in helping to preserve vision. By taking the time to become more informed about how to care for your eye after a Bell's palsy incident, you lower your risk to serious side effects like permanent blindness. Contact a professional optometrist, like those at Montgomery Eye Center, for more information.