Upper eyelid motility in blepharoptosis and in the aging eyelid

R J Wouters, W A van den Bosch, P G Mulder, H G Lemij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


PURPOSE: To study the metrics of lid saccades in blepharoptosis and to distinguish any differences in the dynamics of eyelid movements that are related to the cause of blepharoptosis and to aging.

METHODS: The lid and vertical eye saccades of 7 patients with congenital blepharoptosis and those of 18 patients with aponeurogenic blepharoptosis, either involutional or rigid-contact-lens-induced, were recorded with electromagnetic search coils. For each saccade, two parameters were assessed: amplitude and peak velocity. Two age-matched control groups were assessed in the same manner. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to investigate any observed differences between the included groups.

RESULTS: Congenital and rigid-contact-lens-induced blepharoptosis were readily distinguishable from one another, as well as from the age-matched control group, in both lid saccadic amplitude and peak velocity. For example, 40 degrees downward lid saccades in the congenital blepharoptosis group averaged 22.9 degrees +/- 4.0 degrees (SD), whereas 30.0 degrees +/- 4.7 degrees lid saccades were made by the age-matched control group. The subjects in the two groups with aponeurogenic blepharoptosis also made lid saccades that were distinctive for their group (P: < 0.02), in both amplitude and peak velocity. For 40 degrees downward saccades in involutional and rigid-contact-lens-induced blepharoptosis, lid saccadic amplitude averaged 32.7 degrees +/- 4.3 degrees and 40.3 degrees +/- 3.5 degrees, respectively. Lid saccadic peak velocity declined significantly with age. Lid saccadic peak velocity for 40 degrees upward saccades in the younger control group averaged 401.7 +/- 11.4 deg/sec, whereas the older control group achieved an average peak velocity of 360.7 +/- 60.4 deg/sec. The lid saccadic dynamics in the involutional blepharoptosis group proved to be similar (P: > 0.05) in saccadic amplitude and peak velocity to those of age-matched controls.

CONCLUSIONS: In different forms of blepharoptosis, distinctive metrics of lid saccades occur. The current data suggest that involutional blepharoptosis is not a consequence of normal age-related changes in eyelid function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-5
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging/physiology
  • Blepharoptosis/congenital
  • Blinking/physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Eyelids/physiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oculomotor Muscles/physiopathology
  • Saccades/physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Upper eyelid motility in blepharoptosis and in the aging eyelid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this