Eye Care and Facial Paralysis

UW Health's Facial Nerve Clinic at UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin, provides a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating facial paralysis in children and adults.


Taking Care of Your Eyes


Eye care is critical for people experiencing facial paralysis. Depending on the degree of your paralysis, you may notice you have trouble completely closing your eye. It is extremely important that you take steps to care for the eye even prior to seeing a doctor once facial weakness begins.


If the cornea - the clear protective covering of the eye - becomes overly dry or scratched, permanent eye damage may result. If you are experiencing facial paralysis or paresis you should be evaluated by your primary care provider for instructions on moisturizing the eye and preventing damage. Your doctor may refer you to an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.


Therapy for Eyes that Don't Completely Close

  • Use of an over-the-counter, bland lubrication ointment. Ointment will blur vision during the day but will prevent drying caused by incomplete blinking and nighttime exposure. After starting of the ointment, patients should be seen by an eye doctor within 7-10 days
  • Although your primary care provider may recommend eye patching or taping when sleeping, these may be difficult to apply correctly and if done incorrectly, this can result in harm to the eye. We recommend discussing this first with your eye doctor.
  • Use of sunglasses when outside.