The upper, lower, or both eyelids may appear as if they are pulled back. A significant amount of the white part of the eye (sclera) is visible, giving the person a staring appearance. Sometimes the eyelids cannot close completely. This condition is often associated with thyroid disease but may have other causes. There are a variety of surgical procedures that are designed to alleviate a retracted eyelid.
In paralytic eyelid retraction (e.g., Bell’s palsy), the upper and lower eyelids are unable to close due to damage to the Seventh Cranial Nerve which stimulates that muscles (orbicularis oculi) that close the eyelids. A small gold weight can be surgically implanted into the upper eyelid which allows the eyelid to close.