Quality of life in patients with unresolved facial nerve palsy and exposure keratopathy treated by upper eyelid gold weight loading

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Background: Loading of the upper eyelid with gold weights is a well-established procedure for the correction of paralytic lagophthalmos. There is no reliable research evaluating the results of this treatment from the patients’ viewpoint. Aim: The aim of this research was to evaluate quality of life (QOL) domains through two standardized questionnaires (SF-36 and NEI-VFQ39) in patients treated by upper eyelid gold weight loading compared to healthy individuals (the “healthy” group) as well as patients with other ophthalmologic conditions (the “sick” group). Patients and Methods: This prospective comparative clinical study of 416 surveys was conducted in 2012–2018. The study group includes 59 people: 40 women, 19 men aged 55.5 ± 17.4 treated with gold weights for corneal complications due to unresolved facial nerve palsy. General QOL was assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire. Eye-related QOL was assessed through the NEI-VFQ39 questionnaire. The results were compared with those obtained in 2 control groups: the “healthy” and the “sick,” 53 individuals each. Results: A statistically significant increase in QOL domains was noted in patients with facial nerve palsy after treatment (p<0.001). No statistically significant differences were found in categories defining the Physical Component Score in these patients as compared to those from the “sick” control group (p = 0.95). After surgery, the results of the Mental Component Score were comparable to those in the “healthy” control group (p = 0.51). The eye-related health scores changed significantly after surgery and differed significantly compared to the “sick” control group (p <0.05); however, they did not reach the level of the “healthy” control group (p <0.001). Conclusion: Patients with untreated facial nerve palsy had the lowest QOL levels among all individuals involved in this study. Treatment of lagophthalmos by gold weights significantly improved their QOL, with the greatest impact on mental aspects of health.




Nowak-Gospodarowicz, I., Różycki, R., & Rękas, M. (2020). Quality of life in patients with unresolved facial nerve palsy and exposure keratopathy treated by upper eyelid gold weight loading. Clinical Ophthalmology, 14, 2211–2222. https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S254533

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