Heavy Eyelids – The First Signs of Aging
By Dr. Michael L. Thornton | Aug 30, 2017
What Causes Your Eyelids to Droop?
For most people, drooping upper eyelids or puffy lower eyelids are mainly triggered by the natural aging process causing problems with eyelid muscles, orbital ligaments, fat pockets, and skin. Other causes of droopy and puffy eyelids can be the result of:
- Not being gentle with your eyes – The thinnest skin on your entire body is located under your eyes, so years of excessive or rough rubbing can stretch the skin permanently
- Genetics – if your parents or grandparents have droopy eyelids, your chances of developing them increase
- Fluid Retention – allergies and a diet high in dehydrating items (salty dishes, alcohol) can cause a build-up of fluid around your eyes, making them look puffy
- Fat Prolapse – As the muscles in your lower eyelids weaken, they can’t hold on to the pads of natural fat in your eyelids, and when gravity kicks in, the fat causes the skin to stretch and sag
Sun damage, smoking, and other lifestyle choices may also accelerate the aging process in your face, especially around your eyes, so while there may be no way of completely preventing drooping eyelids, you may be able to lessen the severity.
At Mansfield Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Michael L. Thornton, a double board certified cosmetic surgeon and Diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, can restore and improve your eyelids with an outpatient surgery known as blepharoplasty.
Despite your best efforts, your upper eyelids may end up sagging anyway, which might not be a cosmetic issue, but also a functional one. At times the loose skin may begin to obstruct your lateral vision, while excessive bags under your eyes may expose the lower conjunctiva to excessive drying.
Blepharoplasty (also known as an eyelid lift) can be performed on both your upper and lower eyelids, improving your appearance and eliminating the functional issues caused by sagging skin.
To repair the upper eyelid, Dr. Thornton makes a delicately placed incision hidden in the natural crease of your upper eyelid and removes excess skin and fat. Small sutures are used to close the skin and removed in 7 days. Moreover, if your lower lids loose are puffy and in need of correction, Dr. Thornton can either decide to make an inside incision (transconjunctival approach) or can make an incision along the lower lash line (subciliary approach), which allows him to remove or reposition excess skin and fat. The manner upon which incision to make for a lower blepharoplasty will be made on an individual basis.
Recovery and Results
You will experience typical swelling and bruising initially, as well as some minor discomfort, but this can be managed with prescribed medication and steroids. Some patients may also experience dry eyes or irritation, but can be treated with eyedrops or ointment. Dr. Thornton will provide specific post-operative instructions for caring for your eyes and your incisions.
Sutures from the upper blepharoplasty will be removed in 7 days but it can take up to two weeks for the swelling and bruising to finally subside. Final results may take several months.
If you are suffering from age-related chages to your upper or lower eyelids that make you look older or affect your vision, blepharoplasty may be the solution for you. Call Mansfield Cosmetic Surgery Center today at 817-477-9000 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Thornton.