Reasons and solutions for droopy eyelids

Ptosis, or droopy eyelids, can be caused by a few different things, although the most common cause of drooping eyelids is aging.  Ptosis can also be caused by an eye injury, eye surgery, or cataracts.  Drooping eyelids can even be present as early as birth.  Droopy eyelids that are caused by aging are a direct result of the stretching of the eyelids.  The muscles also start to weaken with age, and fat starts to gather below the eyelids.  This causes the eyebrows to sag and the upper lids to start drooping.  It also causes deep bags under the eyes.

Whatever the cause of the drooping eyelids, the only real solution to correct them is surgery.  The surgery to correct drooping eyelids is called a blepharoplasty.  During the procedure, the surgeon removes any extra skin, muscle, and fat around the eye lids.

Not all procedures to correct drooping eyelids are cosmetic.  The issue can become a real problem if the sagging eyelids start to interfere with eyesight.  Sometimes if the sagging is extreme, it can cause skin to be in the way of eyesight.  Sometimes the surgery is also done if the extra skin keeps the eyes from opening completely.  The procedure also makes patients look younger, so it is often a cosmetic procedure.

Blepharoplasty can be done at the same time as other cosmetic procedures like a face lift or skin resurfacing.  The risks associated with the procedure are minimal and may include temporary numbness of the eyelid, eye irritation, temporary double vision, and scarring.  There is also a small risk of bleeding behind the eye, which is a much more serious problem.  

If you do decide to have surgery on your drooping eyelids, then you will need to have a thorough physical examination.  The doctor will also order photographs of your eyes, taken from various angles.  This will help the surgeon prepare for the surgery ahead of time.  You will also need to go through a list of medication with your surgeon.  You should not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or ibuprofen two weeks before the surgery.  Also make sure you stop any herbal supplements and other medications that tend to increase bleeding.  You won’t be able to take any of these medications or supplements until two weeks after your surgery.  You will also want to avoid direct sunlight for about a week before your surgery and about two or three months after the surgery. 

Most procedures to fix droopy eyelids are done on an outpatient basis.  The procedure usually takes less than two hours, although it can take longer if there is extensive tissue that needs to be removed.  Make sure you use your lubricating ointment to prevent dry eyes after the surgery.  Remember that this ointment may cause temporary blurred vision.  You also may experience excess tearing and light sensitivity after the surgery.  This is all temporary, but you should be prepared ahead of time to deal with it after the procedure.

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