Floppy Eyelid Syndrome is a relatively uncommon but under-diagnosed eyelid disorder associated with older, obese individuals in whom the upper eyelid of one or both eyes loses elasticity and becomes rubbery, lax and easily everted or turned upward. As a result, the eyelid often flips during sleep upon contact with a pillow, exposing the eye to the environment. The affected eye may develop dryness, redness, chronic irritation, discharge as well as infection. If left untreated, corneal ulcerations and scarring may occur, leading to vision loss. In addition to potential damage to the eye, the presence of floppy eyelid syndrome is associated with a higher incidence of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition. The presence of obstructive sleep apnea leads to an increase in the risk of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, heart arrhythmias as well as glaucoma.
Treatment of floppy eyelid syndrome depends upon its degree of severity. In milder cases, symptoms can often be managed by using eye shields and ointment during sleep to help prevent overnight eversions. Also, nutritional changes and weight loss may help prevent further worsening of the condition. In more severe cases, surgical tightening of the eyelid may be necessary.
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