When most of us think about eye health and good vision, we tend to think of conditions that affect the eyeball and its structures — things like cataracts, glaucoma, and maybe eye infections. We rarely think about our eyelids. But the fact is, they can have an effect on our vision, too.
A skilled ophthalmologist, Rodrigo Belalcazar, MD, uses special techniques to diagnose and treat eyelid problems in patients at Advanced Eye Center in Hialeah, Florida. If your lids are affecting your vision, here’s how surgery could help.
Eyelid drooping (or blepharoptosis) can happen for lots of reasons. Neurological issues and genetics can play a role in some people. But one of the most common reasons for eyelid drooping is one that affects us all: age. As we get older, the muscles that support our lids can weaken, and our skin naturally begins to sag.
Initially, sagging upper lids might make you look a little lethargic or tired. They can even make you look older — sometimes a lot older. Those are the cosmetic issues. But as your upper lids continue to droop, they can start to cause vision problems, too.
Eventually, your droopy lids can begin to block your pupils, the openings that allow light to reach your light-sensitive retinas. When the pupil is blocked — even by a little bit — your vision can be dramatically affected. Initially, you might notice the difference only when you look upward or sideways (out of the corners of your eyes). But as drooping continues, you might find it hard to see straight ahead, too.
While drooping lower lids won’t block your vision, they can affect your vision in other ways.
If your lower lids sag significantly, the surfaces of your eyes may dry out more quickly. That means you’re at risk for dry eye syndrome, a condition that causes burning sensations, eye watering, and even blurry vision.
Your tears help remove debris and germs from the surfaces of your eyes. If your lower lid sagginess leads to dry eyes and less tear coverage, you could also be increasing your risk for eye infections.
For drooping upper or lower eyelids, Dr. Belalcazar can perform a blepharoplasty, in which he uses special surgical techniques to remove excess skin and fatty deposits. Getting rid of excess tissue tightens up loose eyelids and restores their normal positions.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Belalcazar may recommend a nonsurgical procedure called Plexr, which uses plasma technology to tighten lid skin. Plexr is noninvasive and uses local anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
If you have mild eyelid drooping associated with sagging brows, you might be a good candidate for Botox® treatment. Botox isn’t just for wrinkles. When it’s injected into specific muscles in your forehead, it can help gently lift your brows, drawing your eyelids up, too.
It can be easy to ignore your eyelids, especially if you don’t have any symptoms of vision loss or eye health problems. But treating lid issues early, at the first sign of drooping or irritation, is the best way to keep your vision clear and prevent more serious problems from occurring.
To learn more about eyelid treatments and how we can help you keep your eyelids healthy, call 305-874-0115 or book an appointment online with Advanced Eye Center today.