The Impact of Bell's Palsy on Vision

Bell's Palsy is a condition that causes sudden, temporary weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. This can affect vision in a number of ways, making it important for individuals with Bell's Palsy to seek the help of our optometrist. Bell’s palsy can be a very frustrating and painful condition to endure. For those where recovery is not complete, the change in the appearance of one’s facial features can be a dramatic change. Fortunately, most recover completely with no increased chance of reoccurrence.

The Impact of Bell's Palsy on Vision in Olympia

Eyelid Drooping: A Common Consequence of Bell's Palsy

Bell's Palsy can cause weakness or paralysis in the muscles that control the eyelid, leading to drooping or sagging of the eyelid on one side of the face. This can make it difficult to keep the eye closed and can result in dry eye syndrome and an increased risk of eye infections. In some cases, the drooping eyelid may also affect the person's appearance, causing cosmetic concerns.

Seeing Double with Bell's Palsy: Understanding its Causes and Treatment

Bell's Palsy can cause double vision because the eyes are no longer working together in harmony. This can be due to a misalignment of the eyes caused by the weakened or paralyzed muscles controlling the eyelid and eye movement. This double vision can be confusing and disruptive to daily activities and can be treated with special glasses, vision therapy,  or eye patches. 

Is blurry, fuzzy, or double vision impacting your quality of life and vision? Take our online double vision assessment to help identify if you may have an underlying vision problem that is causing diplopia (double vision) /neuro/double-vision-quiz/

Dealing with Dry Eye: Understanding its Connection to Bell's Palsy

One of the most common symptoms that an optometrist will treat for Bell’s Palsy is dry eye. Bell's Palsy can cause difficulty in closing the eye due to the weakness or paralysis in the eyelid muscles. This can lead to dry eye syndrome, as the eye struggles to produce enough tears to keep the surface moist. Dry eye can be uncomfortable and increase the risk of eye infections, making it important to seek eye treatments. To avoid damage to the eye, it's important to keep the cornea, the clear protective covering of the pupil, moist. Artificial tears in the form of eye drops can be used throughout the day, and a moisturizing eye ointment at night. Although the ointment may cause blurred vision during the day, it will keep the eye moisturized. To protect the eye during the day, moisture chamber goggles can be worn. At night, a patch can be used or taping the eyelids, however please speak with our optometrist before taping as you must make sure to avoid the tape scratching the cornea.

If eye drops and moisture chamber goggles are not effective then scleral contact lenses are extremely effective. 

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Managing Light Sensitivity in Bell's Palsy with Sunglasses and Filters

Some individuals with Bell's Palsy may experience increased light sensitivity because of the drooping eyelid and difficulty closing the eye. This can be due to the increased exposure of the eye to light and the difficulty in shielding the eye from bright light. Light sensitivity can make it difficult to perform daily activities and can be treated with sunglasses or specialized lens filters. 

Corneal Damage and Vision Loss from Bell's Palsy

In severe cases, Bell's Palsy can cause vision loss if the eye is left exposed and does not close properly. This can lead to damage to the cornea through sores or infections, and scarring of the cornea can result in decreased visual acuity and changes in peripheral vision. To address this issue, treatments such as amniotic membranes and scleral lenses may be recommended to repair the cornea and preserve vision.

If you are experiencing changes in your vision related to Bell's Palsy, it is important to seek the help of an optometrist. They can provide a comprehensive eye examination and determine the best course of treatment to manage your symptoms and preserve your vision.

How Can an Optometrist Help Improve the Visual Function of Patients with Bell’s Palsy?

There are a variety of vision and ocular symptoms that can result from Bell’s Palsy, and our optometrist is here to help. Patients searching for advanced medical eye care visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care services for patients with bell’s palsy from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey. Our optometrist can provide comprehensive evaluations to assess the extent of vision problems, including changes in eye movements, double vision (diplopia), reduced visual acuity, light sensitivity, corneal scarring, dry eye and other symptoms.

To schedule an eye exam for Bell’s Palsy, please call us at (360) 491-2121.


How Can an Optometrist Help Improve the Visual Function of Patients with Bell’s Palsy?
Don't Mistake It for Bell's Palsy: The Other Medical Conditions to Consider Behind Facial Weakness and Paralysis

Don't Mistake It for Bell's Palsy: The Other Medical Conditions to Consider Behind Facial Weakness and Paralysis

Bell's palsy is a specific condition that affects the facial nerve and results in temporary weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. However, there are several medical conditions that may present similar symptoms. Some of these causes include:

  • Strokes with hemiplegia
  • Infections such as otitis media and Lyme disease
  • Physical trauma, including cranial fractures and facial lacerations
  • Tumors, such as acoustic neuroma and perineural invasion by squamous cell carcinoma
  • Autoimmune diseases like Sjögren's syndrome and metabolic disorders like diabetes
  • Other conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, sarcoidosis, and cholesteatoma
  • Lagophthalmos and its causes:
  • In some cases, the paralysis or weakness of facial muscles can lead to eyelid problems such as lagophthalmos. This can be caused by:
  • Orbital factors like thyroid eye disease (assessed by exophthalmometry)
  • Mechanical factors like cicatricial scarring on the eyelids

If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms similar to Bell's palsy, it is important to seek an evaluation and diagnosis from an optometrist.

Common Questions

Bell's palsy is a condition that causes temporary facial paralysis or weakness on one side of the face. Blurred vision is not a common symptom of Bell's palsy, but it is possible for someone with the condition to experience double vision or eye dryness which can lead to temporary blurred vision. It is important to consult with our eye doctor if you are experiencing any vision changes along with the symptoms of Bell's palsy.
Bell's palsy is a temporary weakness or paralysis of one side of the face. It usually does not result in permanent eye damage. However, it can cause temporary double vision, eye dryness, and blurred vision, which usually resolve in a few weeks to months. In some cases, it can result in more permanent damage such as permanent impact on tear production or corneal scarring as a result from severe dry eye, infection, or corneal sores. If you are experiencing any vision or eye symptom related to Bell’s Palsy, we recommend scheduling an eye exam right away to prevent complications.
Bell's Palsy can cause temporary facial paralysis, including the eyelids, resulting in droopy or closed eyes. To address the eye symptoms, eye protection is important to prevent damage and reduce the risk of drying. This can be achieved by using a moisture chamber. Artificial tear drops can also help keep the eye moist and reduce discomfort. Blinking exercises and using tape to hold the eyelid open can help to improve vision and reduce discomfort. Physical therapy can help to strengthen the facial muscles, including the eyelids, and improve their function. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling, which can improve eyelid function. In more severe cases scleral lenses are extremely effective. It's important to consult an eye doctor for an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plan, as the severity and duration of symptoms can vary for each person with Bell's palsy.
Facial paralysis can have a significant impact on vision. If the facial muscles controlling the eyelids are affected, it can result in droopy or closed eyelids, which can obstruct the line of sight and cause vision problems. This can also lead to dry eye syndrome and discomfort, as the eye may not be able to close completely. Additionally, if the muscles controlling eye movement are affected, it can result in double vision (diplopia) due to the eyes not moving in unison. In some cases, the droopy eyelid or eye exposure caused by facial paralysis can result in light sensitivity and glare. It's important to schedule an eye exam for bell’s palsy if you experience any vision changes or symptoms associated with facial paralysis, as prompt treatment can help to minimize vision problems and improve outcomes.
There is no specific diet that has been proven to prevent or treat Bell's palsy. However, some people with Bell's palsy may find that certain foods exacerbate their symptoms, such as those that are high in salt or spicy. Consuming these foods can cause increased swelling and discomfort, making it important to pay attention to how different foods affect the individual's symptoms. In general, it's a good idea to maintain a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and to avoid processed and sugary foods. If you have any concerns or questions about your diet and Bell's palsy, it's best to consult our eye care professional for individualized recommendations.
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Schedule an eye exam to Alleviate Visual Symptoms Associated with Bell's Palsy

If you are experiencing visual problems due to Bell's palsy, it is important to seek professional help from our eye doctor. During the evaluation, we will use a combination of tests and procedures to determine the cause of your visual symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Don't let vision problems from Bell's palsy disrupt your daily life and visual function. Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Zurcher today and start your journey to improved visual function and a better quality of life. To schedule an eye exam for Bell’s Palsy please call (360) 491-2121.

We serve patients from across Washington who are struggling with vision problems resulting from neurological disorders such as Bell’s Palsy and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care services for patients with bell’s palsy from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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