As we age, the skin on our faces loses its elasticity. Facial skin often ages quicker than the skin on other parts of the body as it is constantly exposed to environmental elements. Being the thinnest skin on the face, the skin on our eyelids are the first to show signs of deterioration. In severe cases, this can cause you to look older, tired and fatigued. Drooping eyelids, also known as ptosis, can start to progress and cover part of the eye. Eyelid ptosis can affect one or both eyes and interfere with your vision.

What Causes Droopy, Sagging Eyelids?

As skin loses elasticity it stretches. This results in droopy upper eyelids that sag slightly or, in some cases, cover the pupil. In the case of the lower lids, the thinner skin cannot effectively hold back the fat behind it – allowing it to bulge forward and thus creating the appearance of bags. This doesn’t mean there is necessarily ‘excess fat’; it just means the lower lid can no longer hold it in place as it once would have.

Besides the natural aging process, other causes of droopy eyelids may be:

  • Age-related weakening of the muscle used to open the eyelid
  • Trauma or disease that can cause damage to the eyelid muscles and ligaments
  • Congenital weakness
  • Stretching of the muscle or tendon following routine cataract surgery
  • Eye tumors
  • Some children are even born with it

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of eyelid ptosis include:

  • Excess skin on the lower eyelids that causes bulging or puffiness
  • An upper eye surface that is too small to apply makeup
  • Drooping lower eyelids that show the whites of the eyes
  • Bags or dark circles under the eyes
  • Extra skin on the upper eyelids that hangs low enough to cause obstruction of vision
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Titling the head back or arching the eyebrows in order to see better

If you are exhibiting the above symptoms, you could be an ideal candidate for eyelid lift surgery.

How are Droopy Eyelids Treated?

Eyelid lift surgery can be performed on upper and lower lids by removing fat and muscle and tightening the skin around eyes. Patients will be sedated while receiving local anesthesia and numbing eye drops to maintain comfort levels. Afterward, eyes appear more alert and youthful and there will be a less obstructed view for patients with vision impairment. While this is an outpatient procedure, a friend or caregiver will need to drive the patient home afterward.

One of our ophthalmologists will evaluate your facial structure, including an examination of the fat and muscular tissue surrounding your eyes. This will determine if the surgery will be beneficial and how much tissue will have to be removed.

While many people with droopy eyelids or under-eye bags are suitable candidates for surgery, there are some uncommon eye disorders that mean surgery might not be the best option. For this reason, our ophthalmologists will always undertake a thorough assessment of all patients prior to surgery in order to determine suitability.

For more information, visit our Before & After Photo Gallery.

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