EYELIDS, DISEASES OF.—The eyelids may be affected with diseases similar to those which involve other parts of the skin ; for instance, eruptions, erysipelas, formation of blisters, suppurations, furuncles, carbuncles, various forms of benign and malignant ulcers, warts, encysted tumours, dilatations of vessels, etc. Dark-yellowish spots of various sizes are very frequent. These affections are all treated according to the usual principles.
Swelling of the eyelids is always a symptom of disease, possibly of sup puration of the eyelid, of a sty, of an affection of the lachrymal sac, of deep seated disorders of the eyes, or of a disease of the kidneys. Extrayasations of blood into the lids occur after injuries to the eyelids or to more remote parts ; for instance, after a fracture of the skull or of a wall of the orbit.
The borders of the eyelids are also the scat of frequent affections and inflammations. Scales, small ulcers, and crusts may develop here, causing the lashes to become matted. If these conditions persist for some length of time, the skin of the eyelids becomes affected, and scar-tissue develops, which turns the borders of the lids inside out. This causes a condition known as blear-eye, which is as unsightly as it is annoying. .\ sty generally develops on the border of the lid, whereas an internal sty represents a slowly growing tumour located in the lid itself.
Eversion of the eyelid (blear-eye) occurs also in inflammation of the lids, and likewise as a consequence of scar-forming injuries to the skin of the lids ; it may appear also as a symptom of old age. Inversion of the eye
lids takes place in various inflammatory affections of the eye, especially in granular lids, or trachoma. This condition is aggravated by the friction of the inverted lashes upon the cornea. See EYELASHES, AFFECTIONS OF.
Imperfect closure of the eyelids (hare's eye) is due to shortening of the lids owing to chronic inflammation, to paralysis of the nerve which supplies the lid-closing muscle, to exophthalmic goitre, or to protrusion of the eye balls as a result of tumour formation. When very marked, this condition is dangerous because the cornea, which is not covered by the lid during sleep, is liable to become dry and ulcerated. Tike all the other changes in the position of the eyelids, this condition can be cured only by operation.
Drooping of the eyelids is very rarely congenital, hut is most frequently the result of injuries, tumours of the lids, inflammations, or paralyses of nerves.
Spasms of the lids occur either as twitchings (winking), or very often as convulsive closing of the lids in scrofulous eye-affections of children. The operative widening of the opening between the lids, an absolutely harmless operation, often gives surprisingly good results.