The eyelid is the protective zone of the eye that lubricates and protects, and acts as a barrier to foreign bodies and light. A subspecialty of ophthalmology, called oculoplasty (also known as ophthalmic plastic surgery), Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger’s COP9 team presents in this article all the necessary information needed to help you understand each type of eyelid disorder.
Inflammations and infections that cause eyelid disorders
Acute or chronic inflammation of the eyelid, blepharitis is characterized by redness, secretions and flaky skin.
The patient with this ocular pathology might notice that their tear film is affected, as well as their eyelashes and eyelids.
The COP9 team presents a possible treatment for blepharitis: strict eyelid hygiene and a massage with warm water. This will liquefy the secretions caused by this eye condition and gently drain the meibomian glands using your fingertips. The secretions that are blocked there can then be eliminated!
The use of sterile solution and general or local antibiotics may also be prescribed during your consultation to speed up the healing of this eyelid disorder.
A bacterial infection located at the edge of the eyelid, the stye is found at the root of the eyelash. Also known as “Hordeolum Externum”, this is a common infection, which is not serious.
A stye is composed of bacteria, mainly staphylococcus, which infects and inflames the bulb of an eyelash. It can develop quickly, within just a few days.
What are the symptoms of a stye? The open edge of the eyelid will turn red and the eyelid will swell. The stye is a small red ball with a white point of pus. Finally, the eye will itch and be photosensitive.
This eyelid disorder heals spontaneously. However, consider making an appointment with your ophthalmologist at the slightest discomfort, unusual swelling, persistence of the stye, or if it becomes a chronic condition.
This eyelid disorder affects the meibomian glands, located at the base of the eyelashes. Normally, they produce part of the lachrymal liquid. But they can become inflamed due to a blockage of the gland’s excretory tear duct.
A chalazion looks like a small ball at the edge of the eyelid, which can develop into a cyst. By consulting a specialist in an ophthalmology center, you will obtain a medical prescription with a corticoid anti-inflammatory ointment. However, if the chalazion has become a cyst, it will have to be removed surgically.
Anomalies related to eyelid disorders
It is a disorder of the lower eyelid, which causes the lid to turn outwards. The lower eyelid’s open edge is no longer in contact with the eyeball, which will cause the patient to have chronic watering of the eyes.
The occlusion of the eye is no longer complete, and this pathology causes the cornea to be exposed to the external environment. The risk of conjunctivitis and keratitis is increased.
Ectropion is mainly caused by the natural aging of the eye, with a hyper laxity of the eyelid. But the origin can also be a facial paralysis or a trauma.
The ophthalmologist may propose a short-term treatment with artificial tears to avoid dry eyes. But in the long term, surgery under local anesthesia will be necessary to solve this eyelid disorder.
Unlike ectropion, entropion is an internal turning of the lower eyelid. The eyelashes are in direct contact with the eye: the eyeball and the cornea are then constantly being rubbed.
The patient will then have chronic watering and a burning sensation in the eye. This friction, due to the presence of a foreign body in the eyelashes, can also cause other ocular pathologies such as keratitis or infections.
Aging is a factor in this eyelid disorder: a deficiency of the lower eyelid retractor muscle can explain this pathology. Burn injuries or congenital diseases can also be the cause. Surgery under local anesthesia is the most appropriate solution for entropion.
Ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid, which can also be recognized by the common name ” droopy eyelids “. This eyelid disorder is not painful. It is a muscular or nervous dysfunction.
Further examinations are necessary to test the pupil and its reflexes to ensure that no loss of responsiveness has been caused by the ptosis.
Ptosis can be congenital, resulting from malformation, which can be hereditary. This eyelid disorder can also:
- Appear during the day and be reduced by the application of cold.
- Be linked to Claude Bernard Hörner Syndrome.
- Be caused by diabetes, aging, myotonia.
- Reveal a paralysis of the 3rd cranial nerve (medical emergency)
The proposed treatment will be operative, depending on the type of ptosis and the vitality of the levator muscle of the upper eyelid.