The skin around our eyes is particularly thin and delicate, so it’s an area that tends to show signs of ageing more prominently, whether that’s crow’s feet, fine lines or droopy eyelids.
How much your eyelids droop or sag can vary from person to person and can be quite severe – but it is something we can usually help with.
The surgical procedure to correct drooping eyelids is called a blepharoplasty. It can be performed on the upper and lower eyelids with a number of techniques, depending on somebody’s individual needs. It’s a procedure we get lots of enquiries about at The Face Surgeons: If you’d like to discuss treatment options for drooping eyelids, you can book an appointment via our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)20 7487 2773, and we’d be happy to help.
In the meantime, here’s a closer look at droopy eyelids and blepharoplasty:
Why do I have droopy eyelids?
A number of factors can affect how much your eyelids droop, including the impact of ageing and how much excess skin and fat you have in this area. Collagen and elastin – the compounds that give skin its ‘elasticity’ and help it hold its shape – reduce as we get older, so skin begins to sag. People with heavier or hooded eyelids, or who already had folds in their upper eyelids, may notice this more.
In some cases, ptosis – the medical term for drooping upper eyelids due to loss of muscle function – can occur due to other health conditions that may affect facial muscles and nerves, such as stroke, the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis or Bell’s palsy, or scarring from previous trauma or surgery. Our ‘What is ptosis?’ information video explains more.
With lower eyelids, sometimes a ‘fat prolapse’ can occur: The tissues that support the fat within the skin have weakened causing the fat to come forwards, resulting in a sagging ‘pouch’ effect. Sagging lower eyelids can also result in ‘ectropion’, where the lower lid turns outwards and the inner lining becomes visible. Our ‘What is ectropion?’ information video explains more.
Muscles can also play a part. Sometimes as the muscles that support the eyebrows weaken and brows can drop slightly, pushing the upper eyelids downwards too.
Are droopy eyelids a problem?
Not always, but for some people they can be. Drooping upper eyelids may block a person’s field of vision, which can be especially troublesome if it’s interfering with everyday life.
Often though, people seek treatment for sagging eyelids because they’re unhappy about the appearance. They frequently tell us they feel it makes them look very tired all the time, which might impact on their self-confidence too.
What does blepharoplasty entail?
The exact procedure depends on your individual needs. Sometimes, a blepharoplasty will simply entail removing a section of loose skin and stitching it back up again, or sometimes excess or prolapsed fat might need to be removed too. Ptosis surgery might involve lifting the eyebrow too. Our ‘Ptosis repair’ page explains more.