For patients with trouble closing eyes after Bell's palsy or Stroke in Colorado
Before Gold Weight
A Bell’s palsy or even a stroke can cause problems with eyelid closure. For a Bell’s palsy, one can wake up one day with trouble closing the eye and moving the face. A Bell’s palsy specialist can put you on appropriate medications to help the recovery. That being said, What is the treatment for the eye during this time period?. The purpose of the eyelid is to help cover and lubricate the eyes. When a patient has a Bell’s palsy, there is an algorithim of treatment that is recommended. Often this involves taping the eyelid, drops to lubricate the eye and ointment at night. Most patients with Bell’s palsy recover in 6 months. That being said, some do not and need more permanent solutions to help close the eyelid.
If six months have gone by and a patient is not able to close the eyelids properly, a gold weight can be placed in the eyelid. This is an outpatient procedure that takes 20 minutes and allows the eyelid to be weighed down to allow the eyelid to close. It is usually almost non noticeable and the incision is hidden in the eyelid crease. The recovery from the procedure is roughly 1-2 weeks.
Determining the size of the gold weight is relatively simple. A sample eyelid weight is placed on the eyelid skin in the office to see how eyelid position and closure are. These eyelid weight kits are in our office in Denver, Colorado and can help patients with eyelid closure problems determine the best weight for them.
On a side note, some patients can be allergic to gold and a platinum weight is used. The platinum weight is smaller also so may be less visible.
Strokes can be more complicated. When a patient has a stroke and also has trouble closing the eye, other nerves that control eye movement can be involved. In those cases, the patient may also have dry eye with double vision. A two tiered approach needs to be done to help patients deal with the dry eye along with the double vision. Sometimes the eye is patched along with lubrication. In Colorado, the air is extra dry and the eye surface or cornea can really dry out.
Above is a pictures of a patient who had a Bell’s palsy with trouble closing the eyes. The final picture below shows closure of the eyes after gold weight placement. Not all patients can close their eyes after gold weight placement. Sometimes further surgery may have to be done or drops may still have to be used. The goal is an improvement in the eyelid closure problem.
After Gold Weight