Eyelid Disorders & Treatments
The eyelids play an essential role in protecting the eyes from a range of environmental factors, physical injury and bacteria. They also help spread moisture over the surface of the eyes, thereby preventing dryness and irritation. An eyelid disorder may impair the important function of the lids, thereby causing discomfort and affecting both the aesthetics and visual acuity of the eyes.
Types of Eyelid Disorders
- Eyelid ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid, often due to weakness of the tissue holding the lid up. If the eyelid droops enough it may affect vision. Ptosis may occasionally cause a range of other complications, including amblyopia (lazy eye) in children, and astigmatism.
- Entropion and ectropion are eyelid disorders that are generally caused by a congenital disorder, aging or traumatic eye injury. Entropion is a medical condition in which the eyelid, usually the lower lid, folds inward. This can be extremely uncomfortable, as the eyelashes and skin rub against the cornea. Ectropion, on the other hand, causes the eyelid to turn outward. Both conditions may cause tearing or blurred vision or lead to potentially serious infections of the ocular surface. Surgical intervention is often required.
- In floppy eyelid syndrome, the eyelids become floppy and rubbery and easily flip over. Although uncommon, floppy eyelid syndrome may lead to further complications, including painful irritation and inflammation of the conjunctiva. A range of conditions, including keratoconus and obstructive sleep apnea, can be associated with this condition.
- Lid retraction can affect both the lower and upper eyelids. It can occur commonly as a result of a thyroid problem and make the eyes appear to bulge out.
- Lagophthalmos is the inability to close the eyes completely, which can impair eye lubrication. Subsequently, this may lead to corneal drying and even ulceration. Lagophthalmos is often caused by the malfunction of the facial nerve, such as Bell’s palsy, or a congenital defect. The condition is also common in patients who have undergone previous eyelid surgery.
- Blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm are neurological disorders that induce involuntary twitching of the eyelids. Some of these conditions can be temporary, often caused by stress or fatigue. The twitching can also be persistent and chronic. When left untreated, blepharospasm may spread to the lower facial muscles, eventually resulting in a more severe condition known as cervicofacial dystonia. Blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm may be treated with drug therapy, Botox injections or surgery, depending on their severity.
Courtesy of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Eyelid Infections and Inflammations
Our ophthalmologists also provide treatments for eyelid infections and inflammations, including chalazion and cellulitis.
- Chalazion, or “stye,” is an inflammation and swelling involving the meibomian glands of the eyelids. The most common treatments include hot compresses, antibiotics or incision and drainage, often done in an office setting.
- Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that occurs around the eyelid. There are two types of eyelid cellulitis: preseptal cellulitis and orbital cellulitis. Preseptal cellulitis generally only affects the eyelids, whereas orbital cellulitis may spread beyond the eyelids and into the back of the eye socket. Prompt medical attention is essential in preventing further complications in the latter condition.
Other Types of Eyelid Disorders
- Skin tumors (benign or malignant) may be serious medical conditions that require prompt medical attention. Dr. Kronish specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of tumors and skin cancers affecting the eyelids.
- Eyelid trauma is a physical injury to the eyelid, such as a laceration. Such injuries can range from mild to severe and, in some cases, may result in partial or complete blindness. Both functional and cosmetic complications can result from a traumatic eyelid injury. Dr. Kronish specializes in both aesthetic and reconstructive procedures of the eye.
Congenital Eyelid Disorders
Congenital eyelid disorders are those that are present at birth. Some such conditions, including eyelid retraction, can be caused by birth injury and/or a birth defect. Many different types of congenital eyelid disorders exist, and they can differ in severity, sometimes requiring treatment.
To schedule an exam with our oculoplastic specialist, Dr. Jan Kronish, please call us today at (561) 498-8100 or (561) 734-0267.