Is a Drooping Eyelid Impairing Your Vision?

How often do you think about your eyelids? Do you even notice when you blink? These little folds of skin perform a big role in your eye health and vision. The average adult blinks about 15-20 times per minute, which equals up to 19,200 times per day. 

Every time you blink, your eyelids clear away debris, deliver nutrients, provide lubrication, and bring oxygen to your cornea. So what happens when something interferes with your ability to blink?

If you have ptosis — drooping upper eyelids — you know the answer. You have trouble keeping your eyes open, difficulty blinking, excessive tearing, eye fatigue, and you may even have impaired vision.

Robert A. Guida, MD, our double-board-certified plastic surgeon, corrects ptosis in patients throughout Staten Island, Carnegie Hill, and New York, New York, with an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty. If you’re suffering from drooping eyelids, the problem may be more than merely cosmetic. Here’s what you need to know.

Problems caused by drooping eyelids

Most people think of eyelid surgery as a purely cosmetic procedure, but ptosis can cause some physical problems as well, including:

For most people, sagging eyelids is simply a matter of aging and the inevitable loss of skin elasticity. It’s also common for the muscle responsible for lifting your lids — the levator palpebrae superioris — to stretch out and weaken over time, making it hard to open your eyes fully. In addition, as you get older, you may build up excess fat under your skin, including in your eyelids, which contributes to the droop.

But age isn’t the only culprit. If you damage the nerves in your eye, or have a muscular disorder, diabetes, stroke, or brain tumor, it can also affect your eyelids. 

Fortunately, Dr. Guida can do something about it.

How eyelid surgery can improve your looks and your vision

Whether your drooping eyelids are causing a medical problem, a confidence problem, or both, blepharoplasty can restore your younger, more alert appearance and improve your eyesight as well. 

To perform the procedure, Dr. Guida makes a small incision in the crease of your eyelid and removes excess skin and fat, which not only eliminates the extra tissue that droops in front of your eyes, it also lightens the load for your levator muscle, so it has less weight to bear every time you blink or hold your eyes open.

If you also have chronic puffiness and bags under your eyes, Dr. Guida can perform a lower eyelid lift to remove fatty deposits and give your eyes a brighter, more refreshed appearance.

Both procedures are simple, scars are hidden, and recovery is quick. You may notice some minor swelling and discoloration for a few days, but it fades away soon. Don’t engage in strenuous activities for the first week after your eyelid lift, and don’t smoke. Do wear sunglasses when you go out, get plenty of rest, and call us if you have any concerns.

To find out if you’re a good candidate for eyelid surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Guida — call us at either of our two locations in Staten Island or in New York City, or book online today. 

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