Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis)
“Ptosis” is the medical term for droopy eyelids. The most common cause of ptosis in older individuals is due to slippage of the muscle that normally lifts the eyelid. This results in an upper eyelid that hangs too low over the eye and can often interfere with a patient’s vision.
To restore the “normal” eyelid position, the muscles to the eyelid (and sometimes the eyebrow) can be surgically reattached and shortened.
Excess eyelid skin (Blepharochalasis)
The eyelid skin is the thinnest skin of the body and has a tendency to stretch with age. In the upper eyelid, the skin may stretch so much that it falls over the eyelid margin and obscures vision. It can also cause the eyes to have a choric appearance of fatigue. In the lower eyelid, excessive eyelid skin appears as “bags” under the eyes.
Excess eyelid skin can be surgically removed via a procedure called a blepharoplasty. If excess fatty tissue is also present, it can be removed at the same time to give a more youthful appearance to the eyes.
Inward and Outward turning of the eyelid margins (Entropion and Ectropion)
When the eyelid margin turns inward, it is called Entropion, and when it turns outward, it is called Ectropion.
In patients with Entropion, the inward turning of the eyelid margin causes the eyelashes to rub agains the cornea. This can result in excess tearing, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers and generalized eye discomfort. In patients with Ectropion, the outward turning of the eyelid margin often results in tears running out of the eye and causes chronic dry eye. Both conditions can cause visual decline. Surgical procedures can correct for both of these conditions.