Adults with Facial Palsy
When I reached adulthood I began to question
why I wasn't receiving more care and advice regarding my facial paralysis problems. It felt rather like I had been
left to get on with it, as if I was supposed to just accept my lot. When I was in my twenties, during a routine
visit to my G.P. I asked whether there was anything that could be done about my facial palsy, I wondered if there
had been medical developments which meant they could now correct it? I was told that nerves once damaged couldn't
be repaired and my G.P. didn't seem interested in entering into any further discussion about my facial paralysis
Dry eye problems due to facial
I have always struggled with a dry eye because
my left one doesn't close properly and once I hit my thirties I really became fed up with feeling like I constantly
had grit in my eye. I decided to search the internet to see if I could find out any ways I could help myself with
my dry eye problem. I found some very interesting websites describing how they were using nerve stimulators to get
people's facial muscles working again and I also found some tips on helping with my dry eye
Armed with this information I approached my new
G.P. (we had moved to a different area by this time). My new G.P. was much more understanding and she genuinely
cared about making my life more comfortable. She went back through my records and found that I should have been
sent an appointment through for when I was about 12 years old, for another check-up at Addenbrookes Hospital. I had
somehow slipped through the hospital's system, I had literally been forgotten! My G.P. got in touch with
Addenbrookes and made the appointment for me that I should have had 20 years earlier!
My mother accompanied me to Addenbrookes, it
was an interesting experience but I was still a bit of a "wonder" to the eye specialists there. They did point out
several things to me which explained some of my facial palsy problems. The rim of my lower eyelid on my left eye is
much thinner than my right eye, so the eyelashes grow much closer to the eye and hence why I constantly feel like
my eyelashes are sticking into my left eye. This probably didn't help my eyeliner dilemmas as a teenager either!
There was still no real cure for what had happened to me, and no real explanation as to what has caused the facial
paralysis, but being able to talk to medical professionals about this for the first time in my adult life did help.
Knowledge is power as they say!
Pictures of my eyes in different states of
closure are shown here.
My G.P. also arranged for me to visit an eye
specialist at my local hospital and he recommended liquifilm artificial tears to me. These artificial tears really
help with my dry eye and I am slightly bitter that I didn't know about these years ago. I do feel let down by the
Health Service, I've had many years of struggling with this dry eye problem when I needn't have done. The
specialist at Peterborough District Hospital (UK) also mentioned there was an operation where they could sew
weights into my eyelid to make it close at night. He explained that because I don't close my eye properly it is
similar to a car with a faulty window wiper, if the wiper is not working properly then the dirt does not always get
washed away. He also said that my eye was probably catching on the pillow during the night and that's why I so
often wake up with a sore red eye in the morning. He said there was another lady having the operation soon, but she
hadn't had her problems since birth. He was going to see if she would talk to me about the operation but he feared
she might be too self-conscious, I guess she was because she never got in touch. In that way I think I am lucky,
because I have always had this problem, life has not suddenly changed for me. I feel sad that I will never be able
to show my teeth when I smile, but there are far worse things that could have happened to me. I take great pleasure
in watching my children laugh, knowing that they are perfect in ways I never will be.
Eyelid weight surgery for people with facial
In 2009 I decided to pursue the option of gold
weight eyelid surgery. I have discussed the surgery with Jenn in Canada who has had this surgery and more. Pictures
of Jenn's surgery are shown here.
Over the Christmas holiday 2009, the consultant at
Peterborough District Hospital allowed me to try out different weights to see which one I was comfortable
with. They are all different shapes, sizes and weight.
Here is video of what my blink looks like before I
tried the weights:
Now here is video of what my blink looks like
with the weight tried out stuck to the outside of my eyelid, when I have the operation it will be inserted
inside the eyelid:
It's now 2010 and I have a date for my
operation in April. I am nervous and excited at the same time, I have had a really rough winter perhaps
because it has been so cold and the central heating has been whacked right up most of the time, so my eye is
constantly sore. I am really looking forward to see if this eyelid weight helps my blink, but don't want to
get my hopes up too high in case it is uncomfortable. I tried buying an eye patch from a place in New Zealand
recently and it just felt too odd wearing it, so I know that things that seem like a good idea are not
Update @ May 2010: I cancelled my eyelid
weight operation because I am still unsure whether to go ahead with the surgery. I faced pressure from
my family who didn't want me to have it done.