Drooping or sagging eyelids often occur as we age and can affect both our appearance and vision.
The most common cause of droopy eyelids is ageing; although there may be other reasons as well. Whatever the cause, if you suffer from droopy eyelids, our Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons at Exeter Eye can help to restore your appearance and your vision.
Droopy eyelid symptoms
Droopy eyelid problems can range from a mild sagging of the skin around the eyes to severe drooping which can obstruct your vision.
As the upper eyelids droop they may begin to cover your eyes giving a hooded appearance. Bags under the lower eyelids are also a common problem and can make you look older or more tired.
In some cases, the upper eyelids droop so much that they begin to cover the pupil, obstructing vision. If you suffer from severe droopy eyelids that affect your vision you may find yourself tilting your head back, or raising your eyebrows frequently in order to see. It is also common to feel tiredness and aching around the eyes, especially later in the day.
Causes of droopy and sagging eyelids
The most common cause of droopy eyelids is ageing, but there are other causes as well…
Ptosis is the medical term given to the condition of droopy eyelids. It is generally associated with an age-related sagging of the muscles that hold the eyelids up. However, ptosis can also occur in children as a birth defect (congenital ptosis).
When someone suffers from drooping eyelids, they may have difficulty seeing. This often results from a condition called Ptosis. Ptosis occurs when one or both of the upper eyelids droop downward. This drooping may hardly be noticeable – or it may be so severe that the eyelids begin to obstruct a person’s vision.
Ptosis can be inconvenient and uncomfortable for adults – but the obstructed vision caused by this condition can pose a serious threat to a child’s developing eyesight. The condition does not usually go away on its own, and requires treatment by an eye surgeon to restore the eyelids to their normal position.
Ageing and sun exposure
Exposure to the sun and the natural effects of ageing can cause the skin around your eyes to sag more. As the skin becomes less elastic with age and the face becomes less plump and firm, the result is often loose or excess skin around the eyes.
Damage to the nerves that control the muscles around the eyes can also cause droopy eyelids to occur.
Disease or injury
Occasionally, certain diseases or an injury to the eye or eyelid can cause the eyelids to droop and sag.
Treatment for droopy eyelids
Blepharoplasty is a relatively fast and simple surgery that can be performed under local anaesthetic to rectify droopy eyelids and restore a more youthful appearance.