Tuesday 5 September 2017
What happens to the eyelids as you get older?
As you get older, the muscles that squeeze the eyelids shut become weaker. This decrease in strength, combined with gravity and age-related looseness of the eyelids can cause the lower eyelids to turn outwards from the eyeball (ectropion) or inwards (entropion). When this happens to the upper lid, the lid can droop and this is called a ptosis.
A combination of lax skin and prominent fat can cause the appearance of “eyebags”. These can affect the upper and lower eyelids, and as well as being unsightly, they can cause a disturbance of your vision.
Can these conditions be treated?
Surgery is the most common solution for these problems. This can be performed as a daycase procedure, under local (which means you will be awake) or general anaesthesia. It is essential that the whole of your eyes are examined properly before deciding on surgery to ensure you get the best outcome.
Are there alternatives to surgery?
Injections with hyaluronic acid can correct hollowing of the junction of the cheek and the lower lid as well as correcting volume loss and smoothing out lines in other areas of the face. Botulinum toxin can be injected to successfully to treat wrinkles as well as raising the eyebrows. These non-surgical treatments are temporary and would need to be repeated.
What else can we do to improve eyelid health?
Stopping smoking has a myriad of health benefits and will greatly improve the quality of your skin. You should also try and reduce your exposure to the sun by wearing a broad spectrum sun screen with UVA and UVB all the way up to your lash line. Drink plenty of water and pack in the antioxidants. Minimize salt and alcohol in your diet as these will lead to water retention and exacerbate swelling.
Tahrina Salam is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic surgeon who specialises in treating the ageing eyelid, watery eyes and non surgical facial rejuvenation.