What is lagophthalmos?

Lagophthalmos refers to the inability to completely close the eyelids. The space left between the upper and lower eyelids causes the ocular surface to become exposed, resulting in problems of dryness that can become serious and threaten the integrity of the eye and the quality of vision.

What causes it?

Lagophthalmos can occur for several reasons: Paralytic: the facial nerve is responsible for transmitting information to the muscle that closes the eyelids (orbicularis). When this nerve is damaged (facial paralysis, tumours, trauma, cerebrovascular disease, etc.), the muscle loses strength and cannot close the eyelids. Mechanical: this occurs when the nerves in the muscle function correctly, but an external factor prevents closing, such as scars on the eyelids or conjunctiva, eyelid retraction, exophthalmos or eyelid laxity.

How can it be prevented?

In general, lagophthalmos cannot be prevented, unless it is a result of eyelid retraction after blepharoplasty surgery through the skin or other surgical scars. In principle, it is important to detect it, in order to establish whether it poses any risk to vision or the eye and to take steps to treat it.


Secondary symptoms, resulting from exposure of the ocular surface and its subsequent drying, include:

  • Foreign body sensation.
  • Tearing.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Eye irritation.

Associated treatments

When lagophthalmos is mild and causes very few or no symptoms of dryness, treatment basically consists of lubricating the ocular surface to prevent future complications.

In more serious cases, in addition to using lubricant therapy, patients can opt for surgical correction, the type of which depends on the degree of exposure and the residual function of the orbicularis muscle in the upper or lower eyelid.

IMO Institute of Ocular Microsurgery

Josep María Lladó, 3
08035 Barcelona
Phone: (+34) 934 000 700
E-mail: international@imo.es
See map on Google Maps

By car

GPS navigator coordinates:
41º 24’ 38” N – 02º 07’ 29” E

Exit 7 of the Ronda de Dalt (mountain side). The clinic has a car park with more than 200 parking spaces.

By bus

Autobus H2: Rotonda de Bellesguard, parada 1540

Autobus 196: Josep Maria Lladó-Bellesguard, parada 3191

Autobuses H2, 123, 196: Ronda de Dalt – Bellesguard, parada 0071

IMO Madrid

C/ Valle de Pinares Llanos, 3
28035 Madrid
Phone: (+34) 910 783 783
See map in Google Maps

Public transport

Metro Lacoma (líne 7)

  • Lines 49 & 64, stop “Senda del Infante”
  • Line N21, stop “Metro Lacoma”


Patient care:
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

IMO Andorra

Av. de les Nacions Unides, 17
AD700 Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra
Phone: (+376) 688 55 44
See map in Google Maps

IMO Manresa

C/ Carrasco i Formiguera, 33 (Baixos)
08242 – Manresa
Tel: (+34) 938 749 160
See map in Google Maps

Public transport

FGC. Line R5 & R50 direction Manresa. Station/Stop: Baixador de Manresa


Monday to Friday, 08:30 A.M – 13:30 PM / 15:00 PM – 20:00 PM

Make an appointment

We call you

Please provide us with the following details so that we can call you and help you in any way we can..