Taping an eyelid closed
Before performing any eye procedure
- Wash your hands (and afterwards too).
- Position the patient comfortably with head supported.
- Avoid anything that may distract you or the patient.
- Ensure good lighting.
- Always explain to the patient what you are going to do.
Reasons for taping an eyelid closed
- To protect an eye with an anaesthetised cornea.
- To avoid exposure keratitis, e.g., when normal eyelid closure cannot be achieved.
- To aid healing of an epithelial defect.
- To assist eyelid closure under an eye pad.
You will need
- Waterproof adhesive tape: 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) wide
NOTE: Use only lightweight tape, as others are likely to cause a reaction when used on the sensitive skin of the eyelids.
- Carefully explain the procedure to the patient so she or he understands what will happen. It can be very alarming to find that your eye cannot open!
- Ensure the eyelid skin is clean and dry.
- Ask the patient to close both eyes.
- Cut a piece of tape approximately 4 cm long (Figure 1).
- Hold the tape horizontally. Apply the top half of the tape to the lower half of the eyelid (Figure 2).
- Secure the bottom half of the tape to the skin below the lower eyelid (Figure 3).
- Check that closure is effective by asking the patient to open both eyes (Figure 4); this should be impossible for the taped eye.
- Reassure the patient again by reminding her or him of the aim of the procedure.
NOTE: The tape can become loose over time, so replace as necessary.