Patients affected by facial palsy suffer from failure to fully close the eyelids; the resulting eye exposure can lead to dry eye syndrome, loss of epithelial integrity, corneal ulceration and infections. Corneal anaesthesia exacerbates risk of corneal damage in these patients. Eyelid paralysis-associated corneal lesions may induce severe visual impairment, for which the ideal treatment is corneal transplantation, a procedure contraindicated in patients with corneal sensitivity and inadequate eyelid closure. We present the case of a patient affected by unilateral facial palsy associated with corneal anaesthesia, due to seventh and fifth cranial nerve damage following homolateral eighth cranial nerve surgery. The patient underwent surgery to re-establish eyelid and corneal competence, and then received a corneal graft with consequent amelioration of visual acuity. This is the first case of associated corneal anaesthesia and facial palsy that was comprehensively treated with a set of surgical procedures, including a corneal transplant.
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