Believe it or not, the way we blink our eyelids can be influenced by neurologic conditions, autoimmune diseases, and other factors. In order to take advantage of this knowledge, though, one needs a device that can accurately measure the movement of the eyelids. At Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers have designed just such an apparatus, which relies on a magnetic field sensor to detect eyelid dynamics.
The device, which resembles something a mad movie scientist would wear, works with standard refraction glasses that ophthalmologists use. The person whose blinking is being assessed gets two tiny magnets to stick on top of the eyelids, and the movement of these magnets is what the device truly measures. As the magnet moves next to a coil of wire, current is generated and by processing this electric signal using computer algorithms, a pretty accurate assessment of eyelid motion is obtained.
Using this device, patients with a disease called blepharospasm, or eye dystonia, were analyzed. This disease causes involuntary muscle movements around the eyes, causing discomfort, communication issues, and even results in pain. The team was able to identify such patients from the data obtained by the device, demonstrating the diagnostic value of the technology.
Study in Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology: A novel eyelid motion monitor…