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Patients with facial paralysis find benefit from eye surgery

A recent study published in the March issue of the journal Archives of Facial Plastic Surgeryreveals that eye surgery can improve the quality of life for people suffering from facial paralysis. Because of the facial paralysis, the eyelid is unable to close, which leaves the cornea unprotected. This vulnerability leads the cornea susceptible to keratitis, corneal ulceration and possibly permanent vision loss. The study involved 37 patients who had surgery to place platinum eyelid weights to treat the condition known as paralytic lagophthalmos. After the surgery, patients noted a significant reduction in the amount of time their eyes felt dry, irritated and scratchy and they used less artificial tears or ointment. Other methods of treatment for paralytic lagophthalmos include lateral tarsorrphapy and palpebral spring implantation. Additional analysis showed that patients who underwent other procedures at the same time as the eyelid-weight placement experienced less improvement than the patients who only underwent weight placement. Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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