Over the previous two weeks I have recieved many questions from patients concerning Caityln (formerly Bruce) Jenner's right eyelid which was not blinking at the same rate as the left eyelid on his 60 minutes interview with Katie Couric.
My experience as an eyelid and blepharoplasty specialist in Denver is primarily with eyelid reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. I am also trained as a neuro-ophthalmologist which involves neurological conditions that can affect the eyelid and face. I should first say that it is impossible to determine with 100% certainty the cause of Caitlyn Jenner's asymmetric blink. In other words this is just the conjecture of an eyelid surgeon in Denver.
First off, the most common question that concerning Caityln's eyelid is "Was that caused by bad cosmetic eyelid surgery". The short answer is "most likely not". Incomplete eyelid closure after cosmetic or functional eyelid surgery would result in both eyelids closing at the same time but the right eyelid would simply not close all the way. There were certain moments with a more forced blink, the right eyelid does close. If there was incomplete eyelid closure secondary to too much skin removed from eyelid, it would be almost impossible to force it closed.
There are two theories as to the Caitlyn Jenner's eyelid:
Simply put, it could be Caitlyn has a habit of blinking only one of the eyelids compared to the other. This is usually very uncommon because patients often will feel one eye is drier than the other but could be possible
2. Previous Bell's Palsy
Patients who have had a previous stroke or Bell's palsy in an eye can sustain further problems with eyelid closure. A Bell's palsy is a condition which may be virus related where nerve function controlling eyelid closure goes out on one side. Patients will often have a problem closing their eyelid. Usually this gets better on its own in 6 months but there can be problems with eyelid closure that remaining. Sometimes these patients need surgery to improve eyelid closure. I often see patients who have had bell's palsy several months or years ago who blink similar to Caityln Jenner. It is entirely possible that occurred sometime in the past.
I thought this would be an interesting post to place about something that patients in the last week have asked me about. Hopefully this helps clear up some questions!
3. Previous Ptosis repair
There is a remote chance that Caitlyn had a ptosis repair where the height of the eyelid was lifted and the resulting scarring that formed caused problems with the eyelid closure itself. Though it is possible it is less likely because there are times on forced closure of the eyelids that the right eyelid closes. If there was scarring it would be less likely.