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Keywords:

  • eyelid;
  • floppy;
  • obstructive;
  • palpebral laxity;
  • sleep apnoea

Summary

A few investigations have raised the question of a possible relationship between obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) and floppy eyelid syndrome (FES). FES is an easily inverted floppy eyelid with papillary conjunctivis, and is a subset of the general pathology, lax eyelid syndrome. The aim of the current study is to determine whether OSAS severity is associated with FES. One hundred and 27 consecutive subjects (aged 25–75 years) referred to the Strasbourg University Sleep Clinic with suspicion of OSAS were included. All patients underwent overnight ambulatory respiratory polygraphy, comprehensive ophthalmological examination and completed standard sleep questionnaires. OSAS severity was defined based on the patient’s obstructive apnoea–hypopnoea index (AHI). As expected, age, body mass index (BMI) and the proportion of males increased with OSAS severity. FES was observed in 15.8% of the subjects without OSAS, 25.8% of the total OSAS population and the frequency was significantly increased (40%) in patients with severe OSAS (AHI > 30 h−1). A significant correlation between OSAS severity and FES was found after adjustment for age, sex and BMI, using a principal component analysis (PCA). The multivariate analysis included clinical, polygraphic and comorbidity data and was followed by logistic regressions for the main components extracted from the PCA. In summary, our findings show an association between OSAS severity and FES and suggest that severe OSAS might be an independent risk factor for FES. These two disorders may share common biological determinants, such as tissue elasticity. Finally, clinicians should be aware of this association so that underlying OSAS or FES can be detected.