To compare the facial features of patients with sagging eye syndrome (SES) and other ophthalmic diseases, and to evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of facial features for SES.
Retrospective cross-section study.
We evaluated frontal facial photographs of patients aged > 60 years with SES and intermittent exotropia (IXT), and control patients who visited the ophthalmology outpatient clinics of two institutions between June 2020 and December 2021. Three ophthalmologists evaluated each eye for sunken upper eyelid, blepharoptosis, and baggy lower eyelid, using a scoring scale. The average scores for each parameter among the three groups were analyzed. Patients with glaucoma, visual acuity less than 16/20, SES with a vertical strabismus angle of 6 Δ or more, IXT that could not be maintained in the phoria position during photography, a history of previous oculoplastic or ophthalmic surgery, and those using prostaglandin analogs for cosmetic purposes were excluded.
A total of 86 patients were included: 23 with SES, 28 with IXT, and 35 in the control group. All were Japanese. Forty-five patients were male and 41 were female. The mean age was 72.7 ± 7.4 years. The sunken upper eyelid scores were significantly higher in the SES group than in the control and IXT groups (p < 0.001), whereas the baggy lower eyelid scores were significantly higher in the IXT group than in the control group (p < 0.05).
Age-related orbital connective tissue degeneration may manifest as SES in the upper eyelid and as IXT in the lower eyelid.