• With Bell’s palsy, why can’t I open my eye when I eat?


    Question:

    I have had Bell's Palsy for 5 years and I cannot open my right eye when I eat. My right eye closes by itself sometimes also. Why is that and what is wrong with my right eye?


    Answer:

    You are likely experiencing synkinesis or the abnormal reinnervation of the seventh nerve after the Bell’s Palsy (nerve problem that affects facial muscles). When this nerve that controls facial expression is damaged, the muscles on the side of the face don’t work as they should. If the closure is of concern, talk to your ophthalmologist about treatment options such as Botulinum toxin, which can ease the extent of eyelid closure.


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