Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd reveals he’s recovering from FACIAL PARALYSIS: ‘I can’t blink – I have to lubricate my eyes every hour’
- The former Bomber lost control of the right side of his face after visiting parents
- It was initially feared the AFL champion was having a stroke
- He has been unable to blink, smile or move the right side of his face
Former AFL Premiership champion Matthew Lloyd has revealed a frightening diagnosis of Bell’s palsy that saw him lose control of the right side of his face along with the ability to smile or blink.
The Essendon talisman and Australian Football Hall of Famer is a property investor and media personality today. He told the Herald Sun that he was visiting his parents in early February when he lost control of the muscles in his face from the condition.
Matthew Lloyd pictured at the AFL Hall of Fame awards with wife Lisa has revealed he has suffered from facial paralysis due to Bell’s palsy
Bell’s palsy is a form of weakness or temporary facial paralysis that is also called idiopathic facial palsy. It involves issues with the nerves located near each temple that are responsible for the control and movement of muscles on that side of the face and functions like blinking and smiling.
While the exact cause of Bell’s palsy is unknown, it is believed to occur when the cranial nerves become inflamed or swollen. In most cases the condition is temporary and it can be treated through the use of oral steroids.
Lloyd is expected to recover from the condition, but spoke of the moment he lost control and went to his wife for assistance.
‘I had visited my parents and my right eye wouldn’t stop watering,’ he said.
Lloyd (pictured during his playing days) has been recently diagnosed with Bell’s palsy which has left him unable to smile or blink on the right side of his face
‘It was about 6pm and I said (to wife) Lisa I’m not feeling too well. I couldn’t control the spitting and I lost control of my mouth and could sense my right side dropped.
‘My smile wasn’t even and my cheekbone wasn’t even.’
It was initially feared Lloyd was having a stroke, but he was later cleared. He is now recovering from the Bell’s palsy that also afflicted his mother-in-law and former teammate Adam Ramanauskas.
‘I can’t blink, the eye might shut about 40-50 per cent and it dries out so I have to lubricate the eyes every hour,’ Lloyd said.
Bell’s palsy impacts one person in every 65 in their lifetime, or about 0.02 per cent of the population. It is named after Scottish surgeon Sir Charles Bell who is renowned for his work studying the nerve.
Other famous identities to battle the condition include Angelina Jolie, who claims to have beaten Bell’s Palsy through acupuncture treatment, while the signature facial features and trademark slurred speech of action movie icon Sylvester Stallone can also be attributed to Bell’s palsy caused by birth complications.
Lloyd gathers the ball during the round one AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Sydney Swans at Telstra Dome April 1, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.
Lloyd played 270 games for Essendon, kicking 926 goals in a career spanning from 1995 to 2009. He also kicked eight goals in three appearances for Victoria and represented Australia in International Rules in 2001. He is a three-time Coleman Medal winner and five-time All Australian, winning the AFL Premiership with the ‘Dons in 2000.
Essendon kick off their 2022 AFL campaign against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday, March 19 at 2.10pm.
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