When the eyelid pulls away from the eyeball, exposing the white part to the air, a condition called lid retraction causes the eyes to become irritated and have a gritty or sandy feeling. Exposure to air can cause irritation, pain, and tearing, and eventually lead to eye infections, damage to the cornea and vision loss. The most common cause of lid retraction is thyroid eye disease; other causes include previous eyelid surgery, trauma, and aging. Sometimes retraction of the lower eyelid can occur following a routine lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Upper eyelid retraction is the most common sign of Grave’s Eye Disease.
Surgery is required to reduce eye exposure to the air. The type of surgery depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Following surgery, you will experience minimal discomfort and some swelling and bruising, which should be gone within a few weeks. Most patients can resume normal activities in one to two weeks.