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Lagophthalmos is a condition associated with the inability to close the eyelids effectively, with the main cause being facial nerve palsy. The authors aimed to investigate whether lagophthalmos was associated with coronavirus infection (COVID-19) by comparing patients diagnosed with lagophthalmos in 2019 and those in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients diagnosed with lagophthalmos in 2019 were included in group one (n=9), while those diagnosed in 2020 were included in group two (n=33). The authors observed the number of patients seen with lagophthalmos increased during the pandemic, compared with the same period from the previous year. The reported cases increased by 367% in 2020 compared with 2019. In addition, the mean white blood cells, lymphocyte and platelet counts of patients in group two were all significantly decreased compared with group one. The authors conclude that lagophthalmos due to Bell’s palsy could be a sign of COVID-19. Further case reports and studies are required to explore the exact pathophysiology of the processes involved in COVID-19 complications.

Acute lagophthalmos due to Bell’s palsy could be a sign of COVID-19.
Ozdemir I, Kocamis SI.
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Claire Howard

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford, UK.

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