One of the primary concerns that patients often desire to improve is the drooping of the upper eye area. This droop is often a result of the loss of skin elasticity and its diminished ability to "snap back" over time. In addition, there may be excessive fat pockets present, resulting in a "heavy" appearance of the upper lids. One common complaint among female patients with this challenge is that eye make-up is no longer easy to apply and wear, as it smears and creases. Depending upon the severity of the droop, there are non-surgical and surgical means that may be employed to help open up the eyes and provide a more youthful and refreshed look.
Droopy Eyes: Non-Surgical Treatments
Depending upon the amount of excess skin and tissue, there are several possible solutions. In younger patients with mild skin laxity, non-surgical treatments such as Botox® Cosmetic may be used to lift the brow and open up the eye area. Botox is a temporary treatment that lasts 3 to 5 months and needs to be repeated for continued results. Also, the use of radio frequency skin tightening such as Thermage® may be another useful non-surgical solution.
Droopy Eyes: Surgical Treatments
For patients with a larger amount of excess skin and tissue, an upper eyelid blepharoplasty (also known as an eye lift) or an eyebrow lift (also known as a forehead lift) may be appropriate solutions depending on the cause of the droop. A blepharoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure that consists of making an incision in the crease of the eyelid, removing the excess skin and repositioning (or resculpting) the fat to a more appropriate location. The site of the incision is hidden in the crease and heals very well to prevent visible scarring. The results of the surgery are more open, vibrant and well-rested appearing eyes. Because everyone has anatomical differences, an individualized approach must be exercised to achieve the best results for every patient.
- A side effect of eye surgery (i.e. cataract surgery)
- Graves' Disease
- Congenital ptosis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Cranial nerve disorders
- Facial nerve disorders
- Orbital disorders
- Chronic inflammation
Because of this, determining the cause of the ptosis is an important first step before an effective treatment strategy can be identified. If the ptosis cannot be resolved via treatment of an underlying disorder, then ptosis surgery to tighten the muscles responsible for lifting the eyelids may be appropriate to improve the field of vision or create a more youthful appearance.
Children may be born with ptosis of one or both eyelids (also known as congenital ptosis). Early intervention is important to prevent any long-term vision loss. See Pediatric Eye Care.
Correcting droopy eyes requires a great deal of skill, so it is important to consult with a physician with extensive experience in this area. As an ophthalmic and oculofacial surgeon, Dr. Elahi has special training and expertise in managing cosmetic and functional concerns around the eye area.
For more information, call FACES at 212-570-0707 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Elahi.
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