Author(s):van Landingham SW, Lucarelli KM, McDaniel K, Burkat CN,Lucarelli MJ. The effect of visually significant dermatochalasis and blepharoptosis on driving safety. Traffic Inj Prev. 2021;22(6):473-477. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2021.1927003. Epub 2021 Jun 16. PMID 34133254
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the impact of visually significant blepharoptosis and dermatochalasis on driving safety and performance. Patients with visually significant blepharoptosis often complain of difficulty with driving, but the impact of blepharoptosis on driving has not been evaluated in a real-world setting.
METHODS Retrospective cohort study of 610 consecutive adult patients undergoing bilateral functional blepharoplasty or ptosis repair surgery at a single, University-based practice between 2014 and 2017. This cohort had a median age of 65 and was predominantly female. Pre-operative rates of motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) and moving violations (MVs) extracted from state Department of Transportation (DOT) records were compared with post-operative rates, using each patient as their own control. Poisson models were used for analysis.
RESULTS Subjects were included in the study for a median of 730 days before eyelid surgery (IQR 346 - 730) and 783 days after surgery (IQR 449 - 1176). There were 30 total MVCs before surgery (0.024 per subject, per year) and 48 after surgery (0.036 per subject, per year) (p = 0.08). There were 81 MVs before surgery (0.065 per subject, per year) and 66 after (0.049 per subject, per year) (p = 0.11). The multivariable model comparing MVCs pre- versus post-surgery adjusting for age, ptosis severity, gender, and comorbidities yields a rate ratio of 0.63 (p = 0.05). The multivariable model comparing MVs pre- versus post-surgery demonstrates a rate-ratio of 1.2 (p = 0.20). Older age was associated with lower rates of moving violations (coefficient of -0.03, p < 0.01). None of the other variables included in the final models had a significant association with MVCs or MVs.
CONCLUSIONS In this cohort, visually significant blepharoptosis and dermatochalasis were not associated with rates of MVCs or MVs. Further work is needed to study the impact of these common conditions on driving, for example adjusting MVC and MV rates by miles driven, which may influence decisions about when to operate on ptotic eyelids.