What to do
Eye Care – You may be unable to close your eye and produce tears. This means that the surface of the eye (cornea) will have very little protection and is at risk of becoming dry and easily damaged. This can affect your vision. It is important that you see your GP who will advise you and may refer you to an ophthalmologist or local eye hospital walk in centre. You will probably need to use eye drops during the day and eye gel at night and may be advised to tape your eye shut at night. It is important that you adhere to the advice you are given if you wish to maintain the health of your eye. You may find it helpful to wear glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes, especially in bright sunshine or wind and avoid prolonged exposure to air conditioning or blow heaters.
Blink your eye manually as often as possible. This will not only keep your eye moist and healthy but also stop your eyelid stiffening up preventing future difficulties.
Facial Massage – Massaging your face is important. It helps to improve circulation to the facial muscles and also helps to keep you ‘in touch’ with your face. Massage your face using slow, gentle, circular movements. Use firm pressure keeping your fingers still so as you can feel the facial tissues moving. Massage keeps your muscles healthy whilst your nerve recovers. Focus your massage on forehead, temples, cheeks and chin.
Mouth – Look after your oral health – ensure you clean your teeth thoroughly on the affected side and visit a dental hygienist regularly. If you suffer from dry mouth there are specialist products available to ease this via your GP or pharmacy.
This video is for patient use to help explain the facial care needed during the early phase of facial palsy.