During a press conference, a NSW minister who suffered from ‘weakness of the eye’ thanked the community for reaching out and drawing his attention to the severity of the condition.
Customer Services Minister Victor Dominillo was shocked by the messages after appearing at last Wednesday’s daily Covid press conference, where people asked him if he was “winking at the camera” or having a stroke.
Later that day, he confirmed via social media that he had Bell’s palsy, a temporary facial paralysis with no exact cause known.
On Monday, Mr Dominello took to social media to say a “deep thanks” to those who shared their experiences and best wishes with his diagnosis.
“I am taking medication and feel very lucky that society has brought to my attention the seriousness of the situation,” he wrote on his Instagram.
“Also due to the feedback I have received from many people with live experience – I am also a sufferer of acupuncture.
“I hope to recover quickly.”
Dominello has included a photo of himself wearing a patch on his right eye as he holds up his new Covid-Safe check-in card for the state government.
He said the patch, which was worn on the side of his frozen face, prevented his eye from getting injured so he could start blinking normally again.
The minister had previously explained how he woke up that Wednesday morning with a strange sensation on his tongue.
“About 48 hours ago I felt pain in my skull behind my right ear. I woke up this morning with pins and needles on the right side of my tongue,” he wrote last Wednesday night.
“But I didn’t notice any sagging around my eyes.
“I took it more seriously this afternoon only after a number of people sent me a screenshot of the press conference and others called my office asking me to seek urgent medical attention.”
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, Bell’s palsy is paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. It is caused by a defect in the facial nerve.
The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is unknown, but symptoms generally begin to improve with or without treatment after a few weeks, with some or all of the facial function restored within six months.
In some cases, residual muscle weakness can last longer or be permanent.
Mr Dominello thanked everyone who reached out to him and said the reason he made the post was because he wanted people to take care of their health.
“We are focused on Covid but there are a lot of other health challenges that people are going through. If you have any health concerns – please don’t ignore them – get them checked out.”