Question: What happens to our eyelids as we age and what can be done about it?
Answer by Andrea Joplin, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Eye Associates of Central Minnesota, located in St. Cloud
It’s not uncommon for aging eyelids to thin and stretch, causing the eyes to look droopy or tired. The excess flexibility in the eyelid may partially cover the eye, causing difficulty with driving, peripheral vision and reading. Sometimes the eyelids push the eyelashes onto the eye, causing discomfort. The condition may cause actual tiredness toward the end of day from eyelids needing to be held up by the brows from the extra weight of the eyelids.
Eyelids can be an issue as we age, but there are procedures that can be done in several situations to alleviate the discomfort or improve the appearance of the eyes. Stock photo
A common surgery for this is called a blepharoplasty. We remove the excess skin with a small incision made along the natural lid crease. The surgery requires precision measurement prior to and during surgery to ensure an improved cosmetic and natural looking appearance of brighter, better seeing eyes.
Occasionally, eyelids may droop due to a mechanical problem of the eyelid, causing the lid to sit below the height that it should be. This condition is call ptosis. Ptosis is corrected by tightening the structures that elevate the lid so it rests and raises to the proper height. The successful outcome of this surgery is a bright, natural, younger looking facial expression as well as improved vision for your daily activities.
Tearing is a common symptom of the lower eyelid being loose so it does not sit in the proper position against the eye. The lower lid tear duct cannot pick up the tears if the lower lid is too loose. This is called ectropion and can cause the lower eyelid to look chronically red as well. We can do a procedure to tighten the lower eyelid to correct this condition.
Sometimes the lid turns inward so that the lashes rub on the eye. This can cause discomfort and it may feel that there is always something in the eye.
There are multiple procedures that we can do to fix this condition, call entropion. Sometimes we treat this in the office and sometimes in the outpatient surgery setting.
The same day surgery is performed at an outpatient surgery center under local anesthesia. Most people experience some swelling and bruising afterwards that disappears in a week or two.
“I’m so glad I had this done,” is a common refrain in follow-up visits to our office in St. Cloud.
The surgery may be covered by your insurance.
Find out more
If you would like to know if you are a candidate or want more information, please call Eye Associates of Central Minnesota at 320-774-3789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and make an appointment with ophthalmologists, Andrea Joplin, M.D., or Mitchell Gossman, M.D. Eye Associates of Central Minnesota are located at 628 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101, in St. Cloud.
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