Lagophthalmos in Downtown Manhattan | Incomplete Eyelid Closure

Incomplete eyelid closure can be one of the most uncomfortable eye dysfunctions you can develop. If you don’t get effective treatment from an eye doctor who knows how to treat nocturnal lagophthalmos, your suffering will continue. Lagophthalmos, also called incomplete eyelid closure, happens for a variety of reasons, many of which you have no control over. But you can find the best lagophthalmos treatment near me in New York City at Eye Physicians, where our top optometrist and ophthalmologist provide exceptional care. Call today and get it taken care of promptly and effectively.

    What Is Lagophthalmos?

    Lagophthalmos is a medical condition characterized by the inability to close the eyelids completely, leaving a piece of the eye visible. While not as well-known as some other eye diseases, it’s a serious worry for people who suffer from it. Left untreated, incomplete eye closure leads to dry eyes, discomfort and infections. It happens for a variety of causes, including nerve disorders and eye traumas.

    Lagophthalmos is divided into various types, including:

    • Paralytic lagophthalmos that happens after surgery sometimes or following a facial trauma, both of which lead to paralysis of the facial muscles
    • Cicatricial lagophthalmos as a result of burns or other trauma that left scarring on your eyelids
    • Mechanical lagophthalmos that sometimes happens in conjunction with eyelid retraction
    • Congenital lagophthalmos, which is a rare condition that appears at birth and usually caused by dysfunctional nerves in the brain or other birth defects

    If you have lagophthalmos and other symptoms such as dryness or irritation, you should get medical attention and treatment for lagophthalmos from an experienced doctor as soon as possible. Eye Physicians in NYC is a renowned practice with a diverse staff of optometrists and eye doctors who specialize in treating a variety of eye diseases, including treatment for lagophthalmos. Their timely and competent care offers the best possible maintenance of your eye health.

    They also offer solutions such as:

    Lagophthalmos (Incomplete Eyelid Closure)

    What Are the Symptoms of Lagophthalmos?

    A person with lagophthalmos has trouble fully closing their eyes, resulting in a gap between the upper and lower eyelids. This often happens only at night in a state called nocturnal lagophthalmos. The incomplete closing of the eyes is also common when you blink.

    Other common symptoms of incomplete eye closure include:

    • Because the eyelids don’t adequately shield the eyes, there’s a higher risk of dryness, irritation and photokeratitis, also called sunburned eyes, and corneal inflammation.
    • You may get the sensation that something’s in your eye, making it feel gritty, which is usually caused by a lack of appropriate moisture and protection.
    • Constant eye exposure can cause discomfort, light sensitivity called photophobia, and eye pain.
    • Inflammation and irritation can cause the exposed cornea to grow red and puffy.
    • In severe cases, lagophthalmos reduces visual clarity due to corneal abnormalities created by prolonged exposure.
    • Prolonged corneal exposure can result in corneal ulceration, a dangerous complication requiring quick medical intervention.

    Constant corneal exposure can lead to abrasions, ulcers and blindness. Dry eye syndrome worsens due to insufficient tear lubrication. Infections become increasingly common, posing a risk to eye health. In addition, cosmetic issues and functional impairments develop, interfering with daily life.

    What Can Cause Lagophthalmos?

    There’s usually some kind of underlying condition that causes your eyelids to remain open. The condition may be the result of poor surgical outcomes, trauma to your face or defect at birth.

    Several factors can cause lagophthalmos, including:

    • Facial nerve paralysis. This happens when you’ve had damage to the facial nerves that then restrict eyelid closure.
    • Eyelid trauma. Injuries and burns can impair eyelid function.
    • Neurological diseases. Moebius syndrome, facial nerve paralysis and Bell’s palsy are examples of neurological conditions that affect the eyelid muscles.
    • Muscle weakness. Myasthenia gravis weakens the eyelid muscles.
    • Eyelid tumors. Growth on the eyelids impairs proper function.
    • Medical conditions. Thyroid eye disease can inflame the tissues surrounding the eyes, resulting in lagophthalmos. Graves’ disease makes the eyes bulge, sometimes to the point that your lids don’t cover the eye sufficiently.

    Incomplete eyelid closure when you’re sleeping leads to repeated exposure to air and debris and reduces eyelid elasticity, resulting in chronic lagophthalmos even when awake.

    Your NYC physician who knows how to treat nocturnal lagophthalmos can make an effective nocturnal lagophthalmos treatment plan for you that may include:

    • Specialized sleep masks
    • Eyelid weights
    • Surgery

    What Other Treatment for Lagophthalmos Options Are Available?

    The treatment of lagophthalmos is established based on its underlying cause and severity. For example, once you receive treatment for a thyroid disorder, your eyes return to their normal size and your lids close properly. When a growth on the eyelid is removed, the incomplete eyelid closer resolves itself naturally.

    Other lagophthalmos treatment options your Downtown Manhattan eye doctor may recommend are things you can do on your own. Some require additional office visits.

    Options for how to treat nocturnal lagophthalmos and daytime improper eyelid closure may include:

    • Artificial tears and lubricating creams to keep the eyes moist and avoid dryness, particularly at night
    • In mild situations, taping the eyelids together while sleeping or wearing an eye patch protects the cornea and prevents irritation
    • Weights that are surgically inserted into the upper eyelids to help them close more completely
    • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections weaken the muscles responsible for opening the eyelids, allowing them to close more effectively
    • In severe situations, surgery may be required to partially close the eyelids and sew the ends together in a procedure called tarsorrhaphy
    • Gold weights, like eyelid weights, also can be inserted in the upper eyelid

    Lagophthalmos is normally diagnosed after a comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist. Your doctor evaluates your ability to fully close your eyelids by having you close your eyes softly as he observes any gaps. Procedures like the snap test, which evaluates eyelid closure force, are used to assess the severity of the illness.

    Can Lagophthalmos Be Prevented?

    Preventing lagophthalmos involves addressing underlying causes and taking preventative steps, such as:

    • Protecting the eyes from injuries
    • Practicing proper eyelid hygiene
    • Treating disorders like blepharitis as soon as possible
    • Wearing protective eyewear in hazardous workplaces
    • Adopting gentle eye care habits
    • Seeking timely treatment for disorders like facial nerve paralysis or Bell’s palsy

    Don’t let lagophthalmos compromise your eye health and comfort. Contact the trained doctors at Eye Physicians in New York City for complete treatment and comfort. The prognosis for lagophthalmos varies depending on the root cause and severity of the disease and how long you’ve waited to get treatment. Lagophthalmos treatment improves eyelid function and relieves symptoms with proper management. Early detection and timely intervention by an experienced doctor significantly enhance results for people with lagophthalmos.

    Page Updated on Jul 5, 2024 by Dr. William Hogue, OD (Optometrist) of Eye Physicians
    William Hogue, OD

    My name is Dr. William Hogue, and I am an optometrist dedicated to providing top-quality professional eye care. I'm trained in treating various ocular conditions, including dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and retinal issues.

    I earned my chemistry degree summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee. Subsequently, I obtained my Doctorate of Optometry (OD) and Master of Science (MS) from the New England College of Optometry. Following graduation, I completed an ocular disease residency at the State University of New York’s College of Optometry. Beyond my clinical work, I have also been a supporter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH).

    More about Dr. Hogue

    Eye Physicians
    110 Lafayette St, Suite 503
    New York, NY 10013
    (212) 292-4814

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