When your eye or eyes cannot close properly due to facial paralysis, you may need to tape the eye(s) closed for sleep or if it is particularly painful during the day. The video below explains how to do this.
*Important note: The team at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead who made this video are now recommending patients use Siltape for eyelid taping overnight as it’s more gentle to remove.
Eye taping may be required at this stage both to lift up the lower lid if it has dropped and/or to close the eye for sleeping. We recommend 2.5cm wide Transpore* tape which your pharmacist can order for you although you can use other tapes the pharmacy recommend initially until you get hold of the Transpore. If the bottom eyelid is dropped or turning out, taping it may help. Cut or tear a piece of tape slightly longer than the width of the eye. You can tear it in half length-ways once or even twice to make it thinner and less visible. Looking into the mirror apply one end to the inner corner of the lower eyelid. Lift the lower lid with the finger and then stick the outer end down to hold the lower eyelid up. To tape the upper lid closed for sleeping, take another piece of tape the same width. You may at this point want to apply your nighttime ointment or gel. Look down and help the eye close with the back of your finger. Apply the tape from the inner corner to the outer corner of the eye in a horizontal direction so that it extends beyond the width of the eyebrow. Ensure that the eyelid is fully closed and that tape is on the upper lid firmly and covers the whole eye area. When removing the tape please do not rip it off. Carefully peel the skin away from the tape rather than the other way round.
Please note: If your eye specialist has recommended you use eye drops or ointment such as lacrilube, excess ointment may prevent the tape from sticking properly. Please refer to your eye specialist for advice regarding eye care if you are having trouble taping your eyes closed. For more tips about eye care please visit our Dry Eye Advice page.
For children see our children’s eye taping guide.
Last reviewed: 15-02-2020 || Next review due: 15-02-2022