In eyelid retraction (the eyelids being pulled away from the eye), the white part of the eyeball is exposed. In mild cases, individuals will experience dry, gritty eyes that feel “sandy” or irritated. In more severe cases, some people may have impaired eyelid closure and experience dry spots on the cornea. This can lead to severe eye infections and scarring with vision loss. Eyelid surgery can help reduce eye exposure so that the eyelids are more adequately able to protect the front of the eye. Eyelid retraction may have a number of etiologies.
The most common cause is related to Thyroid Eye Disease. The inflammation that occurs in thyroid eye disease can cause swelling of eye muscles, fat and scaring of tissue resulting in eyelid retraction. Eyelid retraction can also occur as a result of complications from prior eyelid lift, trauma and aging. Individuals with relatively prominent eyes small cheek bones are more prone to develop lower eyelid retraction later in life. The surgical repair is individualized depending on causative factors. Often, the scared tissue and muscle is released and a spacer graft is inserted to provide additional support for the eyelid. Dr. Ghafouri has extensive experience in surgical repair of variety forms of eyelid retraction.