Many people have excess skin or drooping of one or both upper eyelids. In most cases, this loose eyelid skin is due to aging and gravity. Sagging of the eyebrows can create a similar appearance to the eyelids, often resulting in a tired look. There are procedures to help you correct this condition.
The doctors at SIEHT Eye and Laser Center want to hear your concerns about any eye-related issue. Here are some conditions and treatment options if you’re worried about your appearance. Contact us so we can discuss all your options. 800-572-2722.
Dermatochalasis and Ptosis
Extra skin on the eyelids (dermatochalasis), or droopy eyelids or eyebrows (ptosis), can affect the upper field of vision. Patients may notice that they have difficulty seeing traffic signals above them, and some feel the urge to lift or tape up their eyelids to see the T.V. or read. Extra eyelid skin or brow drooping can also interfere with eyelash function and cause chronic eye irritation and rubbing, which loosens the skin even more and compounds the problem.
Ectropion and Entropion
Like upper eyelids, lower eyelids can also develop excess skin and laxity. Lower eyelids that turn excessively outward (ectropion) or inward (entropion) can also cause chronic eye irritation, tearing, and rubbing, and can lead to visually threatening eye infections.
Diagnosis and Surgical Screening
Patients who are bothered by droopy or baggy eyelids should be evaluated by a board certified ophthalmologist. During your appointment, your eyelid function will be assessed and measured. A simple visual field test can be performed to determine whether visual field loss has occurred. Facial photos may also be taken. If the cause of your symptoms is thought to be medical, lab tests or special x-rays may be obtained, but this testing is often not required.
During your visit, it is important for your doctor to establish whether your symptoms are due to excess eyelid skin or brow descent. If the main problem is excess skin, a blepharoplasty may be performed that removed excess skin and fat from the upper or lower eyelids. If the problem is eyebrow descent, the brow can be lifted surgically by removing a flap of skin from above the eyebrow (direct brow lift). Alternatively, the brow can be lifted with BOTOX injections. BOTOX can also be used cosmetically to reduce facial lines. If your eyelids are droopy, but there is no excess skin or brow descent, you likely have ptosis. There are many causes of ptosis, but the most common is age-related slippage of the muscle that lifts the eyelid. This muscle attachment can be strengthened with a levator advancement procedure, and the eyelids can usually be lifted to improve visual function and appearance. If your lower eyelids are loose, causing them to turn in or out, a lateral tarsal stripprocedure can be performed to tighten them and reduce chronic irritation and tearing.
Most eyelid conditions are correctable with surgery, and many patients enjoy improved function and appearance after their procedure. If you are bothered by any of these symptoms, please contact an ophthalmologist to see if surgery is the right option for you.