Droopy eyelids are more common than you might think. In fact, an estimated 11.5% of adults have droopy eyelids, though many don’t realize that it’s regarded as a medical condition.
In this article, we’ll explore how droopy eyelids can affect your vision – and what you can do about it.
How Droopy Eyelids Impact Vision
Unfortunately, droopy eyelids can significantly impact your vision. The two main types of droopy eyelids, ptosis and dermatochalasis, both restrict the field of vision and may limit the patient’s peripheral vision. With droopy eyelids, the patient’s field of vision may also be obstructed by their upper eyelashes.
Ptosis occurs when the upper eyelid lashline droops, while dermatochalasis is characterized by excess skin in the eyelid.
What Causes Droopy Eyelids?
Droopy eyelids can be congenital, meaning that they’re present from birth. However, they more commonly develop later in life because of the natural aging process.
With age, the skin and muscle tissue that makes up the eyelid weaken and stretch out. This can cause the eyelid to droop down and cover part of the eyeball.
Various factors besides aging can contribute to droopy eyelids, including:
- Eyelid injuries
- Complications from eye surgery
- Damage to the nerve that regulates the eyelid muscles
- Medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, third nerve palsy, Horner syndrome, and myasthenia
How Are Droopy Eyelids Treated?
If droopy eyelids are obstructing your vision and hindering your daily activities, you may want to consider eyelid surgery. There are multiple approaches to eyelid surgery, including blepharoplasty for dermatochalasis and ptosis repair.
Functional blepharoplasty can restore your vision by lifting the upper lid. Some patients undergo blepharoplasty purely for cosmetic purposes, in which case the surgery involves removing excess eyelid tissue. Cosmetic blepharoplasty generally isn’t covered by insurance.
Ptosis repair involves tightening and repositioning the levator muscle, which is responsible for lifting the upper eyelid. This procedure may be combined with blepharoplasty, brow surgery, or canthal procedures.
If your field of vision is obstructed by droopy eyelids, schedule a consultation at The Eye Clinic of Florida to learn more about your treatment options.