Lagophthalmos and what are its causes?
Lagophthalmos, from the Greek word for
‘hare’, describes a condition where a patient loses full
function of one or both eyelids. Unlike the hare, which
sleeps with his eyes open, human patients with untreated
Lagophthalmos need to seek medical evaluation for this
condition. Lagophthalmos frequently results from
paralysis of the facial nerve (7th cranial nerve), which
controls eyelid function (orbicularis oculi).
This paralysis can be permanent or transitory and can be
caused by Bell’s palsy, trauma or stroke. It can also
be an indirect consequence of the surgical removal of
certain types of tumors in close proximity to the facial
Can Lagophthalmos be a serious condition?
can be a serious condition. The ability to close the eyelid
(and blink) is crucial to the distribution of the surface film
necessary to maintain lubrication and proper eye health. When
the eyelid becomes paralyzed, the blink mechanism no longer functions
and the eye becomes dry, painful, and irritated. Prolonged
dehydration can lead to serious problems including loss of vision.
there a temporary treatment for Lagophthalmos?
may recommend eye drops and ophthalmic ointments to keep your
eye well lubricated. A Blinkeze External Lid Weight, positioned
on the upper eyelid, may also be prescribed. MedDev’s Blinkeze
External Lid Weights are manufactured from pure tantalum, a dense
metal with high biocompatibility. This weight simply uses gravity
to gently close the upper eyelid when the patient looks down,
or when the eyelid muscle is relaxed. MedDev offers Blinkeze
External Lid Weights in a variety of skin tones to match your
complexion. Your prescribed Blinkeze External Lid Weight
Treatment Kit includes a supply of double-sided hypoallergenic
adhesive strips for attaching the weight to your eyelid, a mirror
and detailed instructions.
As always, if you experience sensitivity or discomfort
while wearing your Blinkeze External Lid Weight, or if the prescribed
weight is no longer effective, contact your physician.
What if my paralysis does not improve?
If your paralysis does not improve or
is not expected to improve after a period of time, your
physician may prescribe other treatments, including the
surgical placement of a Gold or Platinum Eyelid Implant
The Eyelid Implant Weight functions similarly
to our Blinkeze External Lid Weight to close the upper eyelid,
however, implanted gold or platinum weights are less conspicuous
and easier to manage.
MedDev offers two eyelid implant designs, the
and the ThinProfile®.
These implant designs can be ordered in similar weights
but differ in dimensional thickness and width. Your physician
will determine which implant design is best suited for your use.
Why are eyelid implants made of gold and platinum?
and platinum both exhibit highly desirable properties when used
as subcutaneous implant materials. Both metals are dense
(heavy), inert, and highly biocompatible (they do not cause irritation
to surrounding tissues). Platinum is approximately 10% more
dense than gold, allowing for a smaller implant profile.
The color of our gold implant closely matches that of surrounding
fatty tissues, making the implant less conspicuous, even in patients
with thin skin.
What happens if my doctor decides I need an eyelid
have been wearing a Blinkeze External Lid Weight, your physician
will already have a good indication of the right implant for you.
If you have not worn a Blinkeze External Lid Weight, your physician
will need to evaluate eyelid function using various weights.
Since the levator oculi, the muscle that controls eyelid
function, may strengthen over time, proper implant weight will
close your eyelid slightly lower when compared to ‘normal’ eyelid
function, when looking down. Once the correct weight is
determined, your physician can order the proper gold or platinum
eyelid implant for your use.
What happens during the implant procedure?
implant procedure usually takes less than one hour and can be
done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. The
surgery is frequently combined with other minor procedures to
tighten the lower eyelid or major procedures to improve facial
During the procedure, your
physician makes an incision on the surface of
your upper eyelid above the lashes (see figure 4).
A small pocket is created in which the eyelid implant is
inserted (see figure 5). The eyelid implant will
be held in position inside this pocket with small
sutures. Additional sutures are used to close the
incision and an antibiotic ointment will be applied to
the closed incision. A protective pad can be worn
to cover the eye.
What happens after the procedure?
appointment will be scheduled, usually a few days after the procedure,
to remove the sutures and check on post-operative condition.
You should now experience improved eyelid closure and blink function.
After the swelling subsides, you will notice a small thickness
in your eyelid where the eyelid implant is secured. You
may experience minor discomfort, swelling, bruising, and/or a
slight redness near the incision line. In a short time this
discomfort will disappear and the incision line will fade (see
figure 6a and 6b).
Excessive swelling, inflammation, or pain
after your procedure is rare. In the unlikely event that
such a problem should occur, notify your physician. For
further information about this procedure, please consult your
How safe are Gold Eyelid Implants?
MedDev Corporation’s eyelid implants
have been available worldwide for over 30 years and are
an accepted eyelid closure device. The procedure,
combined with rapid surgical recovery, results in
improved eyelid function and corresponding improved eye
health. Eyelid weight implantation can provide both
aesthetic and functional improvement with minimal risk.
The procedure is easily reversible if normal eyelid
function is regained. Complications, which are very
rare, can include sensitivity to gold. For patients
with a gold allergy we offer platinum eyelid implants.
In extremely rare cases, the eyelid implant may become
displaced or the implant may erode through surface
skin. Such complications can be readily corrected but
may require additional minor surgery. Consult your
physician if any of these conditions appear.
For over 30 years, MedDev has manufactured eyelid
implants. Our products have undergone rigorous testing to
assure the highest quality. The purity of the gold and platinum
used in our implants exceeds 99.99% (confirmed by independent
How can I get more information?
A list of medical articles discussing
the treatment of lagophthalmos using eyelid weights is
available from MedDev Corporation on this web site or by
To view a PDF of our Patient
Information brochure, simply follow the link below.
Contact Us or Call MedDev Customer Service at
800.543.2789 (M-F 8:30 am – 5
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