Bell’s Palsy and Post Covid

Photo by Sonny Sixteen on

Not to say I told you so, but I did say so for three months now. I have repeatedly told doctors and family and even on this blog that I suspect my vision and headache issues the past three months are neurological. I finally got to see the neurologist today. He did not act like I was crazy, making up symptoms, or contagious. All of which have happened at medical appointments in the past 3 months. He explained that Covid caused inflammation which damaged the nerves in my face. I have a minor form of Bell’s palsy. The nerve is hypersensitive (light sensitivity) and caused paralysis to the muscles in my face. Most people with Bell’s Palsy, it will affect the entire side of the face. Mouth and smile too. Mine seems to only affect around my eye and forehead. That would make sense because when my light sensitivity began, my right eye also went out of alignment.

I did learn today that if I lift my eyebrows and wrinkle my forehead, only one side wrinkles. I’m not generally a facial expression person, I’d have never noticed. I had my daughter laughing today. Covid gave me free botox on one side. No wrinkles! After researching today, I was explaining to my daughter that not often, but sometimes as the nerves heal, they become discombobulated. So she has to let me know if I blink, and my eyebrow raises, or my mouth grimaces something weird like that. Cause ya know, just my luck.

According to the Cleveland Clinic website, “Bell’s Palsy causes temporary paralysis or palsy of facial muscles” which can be caused by a viral infection when the 7th cranial nerve has swelling or inflammation. Covid is a viral infection that causes inflammation all over the body, including the brain and nervous system. Lucky number 7 got me. Both the neuro-ophthalmologist and neurologist think that my vision, as well as the now diagnosed Bell’s Palsy, will resolve on its own. From what I was reading recovery from Bell’s Palsy can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. I’m on month 2, since the light sensitivity episode but my vision in my right eye started before that during Covid in January. Most likely when inflammation started. I think the Bell’s Palsy started in February because that’s when I noticed my eyelid delay, that muscles were affected.

While I’ve been told to be optimistic about my blurry vision getting better, I can’t help but still be concerned. While I’m relieved the weird eyelid drooping thing and my temporary unmovable brow will get better, my vision is another story. My vision began deteriorating after 1st Covid, May 2020. I’ve never needed glasses, now need bifocals and 3rd pair in a year isn’t strong enough. Many of my symptoms between May 2020 and Jan 2022 were related to dry eye but I’ve been faithfully doing the treatment for that for months. My left eyesight hasn’t improved any. It’s not as bad as the right, but both are bad without my bifocals. I have a follow up with both neuro doctors at the end of June. Both are hopeful I will be better by then. Both also encouraged messaging on my chart with any questions and scheduling sooner if things get worse.

I do feel somewhat better today. It’s good to know that chances are high that these scary few months will resolve in a few more. I am handling light much better. Gardening in sunglasses will be happening. But I might decide to garden at night too. Darkness is still easier on my eyes and brain.

Hoping you find comfort in the darkness too,

Becca Dove


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