Evaluation of Patients with Facial Palsy and Ophthalmic Sequelae: A 23-Year Retrospective Review

Shannon S. Joseph, Andrew W. Joseph, Jane I. Smith, Leslie M. Niziol, David C. Musch, Christine C. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Facial palsy (FP) can result in serious ophthalmic sequelae including loss of vision. We describe the clinical characteristics of FP patients presenting for ophthalmologic evaluation and the timing for initiating ophthalmologic care. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 96 consecutive FP patients presenting between 1992 and 2015 at a tertiary eye center. The main outcome measures were time interval from the diagnosis of FP and onset of ocular symptoms to the initial ophthalmologic evaluation (IOE), and the severity of exposure keratopathy and eyelid malposition on IOE. Results: The median time interval from the diagnosis of FP to the IOE was 1.6 years (interquartile range; IQR = 0.5–9.2), and from the onset of ocular symptoms to IOE was 0.8 years (IQR = 0.3–2.3). The most common ocular symptoms were dryness (47.9%; n = 46), irritation (39.6%; n = 38), and tearing (30.2%; n = 29). A total of 26.0% (n = 25) of patients were bothered by the appearance of their eyes. Only 13.5% (n = 13) noted change in vision. On IOE, 81.6% (n = 75) of patients had punctate epithelial erosions (PEE), of which 52.3% (n = 35) had moderate to severe PEE, 3.3% (n = 3) had corneal ulcers and 2.2% (n = 2) had corneal abrasions. The average margin-reflex distance 2 was 6.4 mm (SD = 2.4) with average lagophthalmos of 3.5 mm (SD = 3.1). Conclusions: Among FP patients presenting for ophthalmologic evaluation, exposure keratopathy (as evidenced by PEE and corneal ulcers/abrasions) is highly prevalent and moderately severe on IOE, despite only 13.5% of patients noting decreased vision. These findings underscore the importance of timely and thorough ophthalmologic evaluation of FP patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017

Keywords

  • Bell’s palsy
  • exposure keratopathy
  • eyelid retraction
  • facial palsy
  • facial paralysis
  • paralytic lagophthalmos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology

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  • Cite this

    Joseph, S. S., Joseph, A. W., Smith, J. I., Niziol, L. M., Musch, D. C., & Nelson, C. C. (2017). Evaluation of Patients with Facial Palsy and Ophthalmic Sequelae: A 23-Year Retrospective Review. Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 24(5), 341-345. https://doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2017.1294186