Search
  • Chris Thiagarajah MD

Sleeping problems and your eyelids


Sleep Apnea and Eyelid problems


Are you a sleep apnea patient? Do you use a CPAP? Do you have problems sleeping? Do you have a problem with your eyelids in the morning? Are they itching or irritated? There is a an association between loose eyelids and sleep apnea. The disease entity is called floppy eyelid syndrome and you need to know about it.

What is floppy eyelid syndrome? It is characterized by looseness of the eyelid. The eyelid is distractable meaning it can be stretched. When this happens it can evert or flip over. When this happens the eyelid can become irritated and/or itchy in the morning. The eyes can be red and irritated in the morning. So why does this happen? There are several theories why patients with floppy eyelid have sleep apnea. Many believe that the loose tissue in the throat of patients who have obstructive sleep apnea also exist in the eyelid. Also the patients with sleep apnea sleep in the prone position and their eyelids can evert as they sleep.

Sleep Apnea and floppy eyelid have a 100% concordance. That means that 100% of patients with a floppy eyelid have obstructive sleep apnea. Any patient with a floppy eyelid have to be checked and treated for sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea includes CPAP, weight loss, and even surgery to help with nighttime breathing. Patients who have sleep apnea can have right sided heart failure over time if not treated. As a result, if a patient has a floppy eyelid and most likely has sleep apnea, they need to be checked and treated.

What about the eyelids? How do we treat that issue? In patients with floppy eyelid the treatment is usually surgical and directed at tightening the eyelid. This is a surgical procedure that is done as an outpatient. The procedure takes 1 hour on average and results in the eyelid being less loose and less likely to flip while sleeping.

So if you have sleep apnea and your eyelids are bothering you, find someone in the Denver who understands and knows how to treat floppy eyelid syndrome especially in light of sleep apnea.


0 views