The lagophthalmos (a hare eye) is incomplete closing of one or both eyes. The patient is not capable to close eyelids completely.
The most frequent cause of lagophthalmos is a flaccid paralysis of facial nerve (the seventh pair of craniocerebral nerves) which is responsible for the movements of circular eye muscle. At eyeball growth (a strong myopia) or its out pouching (exophthalmos) closing of eyelids can be incomplete. In some time the lower eyelid of the patient droops, there can be cornea erosion and subsequent ulceration.
Infections, tumors, orbit phlegmons, endocrine exophthalmos, cicatrization after damage of blepharons and skins become the cause of paralysis. The lagophthalmos also is caused with increment of blepharon to conjunctiva, usually traumatic or burn aetiology.
At incomplete closing of eye the cornea dries up (xerophthalmia). The patient complains of dryness in the eye, burning sensation and feeling of foreign matter.
In order the eye does not dry up artificial tears and ointments feeding the cornea are used before going to bed, and put on soft contact lenses. At ulceration and keratitis antibiotics are prescribed. In severe cases lagophthalmos is treated quickly, with temporary blepharons joining together.
If the lagophthalmos reason was not eliminated successfully, it is necessary to resort to the restoring operations. It can be plasty of palpebral fissure, suspension of lower eyelid, installation of an implant in upper eyelid, elimination of cicatricle changes, muscle operations, carrying out a silicone thread through eyelids.