Drooping or sagging eyelids often occur as we age, and can affect both your appearance and vision.
The most common cause is ageing, although there may be other reasons. Whatever the cause, if you suffer from droopy eyelids, rest assured that it is usually possible to restore your appearance and your vision.
Problems can range from a mild sagging of the skin around the eyes, to severe drooping, which obstructs 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. These symptoms can make you look older or more tired, and can also give you a ‘severe’ appearance.
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 vsion, you may find yourself tilting your head back, or raising your eyebrows frequently, in order to see. It’s also common to feel tiredness and aching around the eyes, especially later in the day.
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).
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.
Ptosis surgery is the operation to lift drooping eyelids, restoring a more normal open-eyed look. Blepharoplasty is the surgery to remove excess, sagging eyelid skin and underlying tissue. Both are likely to improve vision and appearance and are usually comfortable and straightforward.