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Question:
My mum had shingles in her ear which caused facial palsy. The nerves are completely dead on one side and she is unable to blink. She therefore uses eye drops hourly and cream is applied to the eye at night to help protect it. Recently the skin pocket around the base of the eye appears to have drooped even further and the eye constantly stings day and night. She has been to see a specialist but still has to wait three months to go back. As her condition has deteriorated since seeing the specialist we are now unsure of how to proceed and whether this could be a symptom of something requiring immediate attention.

Answer:
Your mother is manifesting symptoms related to a seventh nerve palsy. This means that she is unable to blink and that her lower eyelid may be drooping. As a result she has a dry, irritated eye. Using tear drops and ointments are proper treatments. She may wish to tape her lid closed at night or use a saran wrap shield to allow her eye to retain moisture. If her nerve function does not recover completely she may be a candidate for an ectropion (drooping lower lid) repair and a gold weight placement in the upper eyelid. Please let your Eye M.D. know she is having problems so that he may assist you with her care.

Answered by: Rona Silkiss, MD Dr. Rona Silkiss

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: Jul 25, 2013

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