The protective effects of methyl cellulose and conoid shields for lagophthalmos and corneal hypaesthesia in leprosy

Lepr Rev. 1991 Jun;62(2):201-5. doi: 10.5935/0305-7518.19910024.


Lagophthalmos and corneal hypaesthesia are amongst the most frequently encountered lesions in leprosy and they can easily give rise to blindness. Many measures (such as eye drops, protective conoid shields, muscle exercises, surgical treatment etc.) have been used to protect the eyes under such circumstances and this paper examines the protective role of methyl cellulose and conoid shields in 41 patients. All of them had lagophthalmos (5 mm or more) and corneal hypaesthesia. They were divided into three groups. Group one had 15 leprosy control patients (27 eyes) who did not use methyl cellulose or eye shields. Group two had 16 leprosy patients (28 eyes) and they used methyl cellulose and eye shields when they felt discomfort in their eyes. Group three had 10 leprosy patients (17 eyes) and they used methyl cellulose and eye shields regularly. Statistically significant improvement was seen in group three. Further studies on larger groups of patients including the effects of different concentrations of methyl cellulose, on Schirmer test and tear break up time, may be of value.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Corneal Diseases / etiology
  • Corneal Diseases / therapy*
  • Eye Protective Devices*
  • Eyelid Diseases / etiology
  • Eyelid Diseases / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypesthesia / etiology
  • Hypesthesia / therapy*
  • Leprosy / complications*
  • Leprosy / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Methylcellulose / therapeutic use*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions


  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Methylcellulose