The facial nerve (7th cranial nerve) is responsible for innervating the muscles of facial expression including the muscle that closes the eyelids (orbicularis oculi muscle).
Facial nerve palsy occurs when the facial nerve is not working properly.
Signs of facial nerve palsy typically include weakness of one side of the face, laxity of the muscle around the eyes with sagging or out-turning of the lower lid (ectropion) and elevation of the upper lid. This can mean that the eyelids are unable to fully close (lagophthalmos) and lead to a dry eye.
The eye may be red and feel sore, tired, gritty and dry, or even watery due to reflex tearing as a result of irritation of the ocular surface.
Treatment depends on the cause. Miss Mellington will assess your condition and tailor treatment to your needs to protect the ocular surface and make your eyes feel more comfortable.
Download the patient information leaflet with additional information