Why do Eyelids Sag?

Ptosis, or eyelid sagging, is behind nearly 150,000 eyelid surgeries annually in the U.S. alone. What causes your eyelids to begin to sag and droop, and how can you minimize the effects of aging on your face? 

Patients of Laughlin Plastic Surgery in Annapolis, Maryland, can enjoy eyelid surgery for upper and lower lids to improve your look and help you feel younger by Dr. Daniel Laughlin. It’s a simple procedure that can give your entire face a lifted look, and restore your confidence.  

Causes of drooping eyelids

There are several causes of ptosis, mostly having to do with the nerves, muscles, tendons, or skin surrounding the eye. 

Childhood ptosis

Some children are born with a weak levator muscle which can prevent an eyelid from opening completely. Children with ptosis may also have amblyopia, or “lazy eye.” This can sometimes be corrected with eye exercises, eyedrops, and patching, but may need surgical intervention. 

Adult ptosis

If you’re experiencing ptosis as an adult, it could be caused by:

Aging: As you age, your skin loses its elasticity. Your eyelid skin can begin to stretch and droop. Your upper eyelid might sag down over the eye, and your lower eyelid can dip into a deep sagging crescent under your eye.

Nerve damage: If you’ve had any type of damage to the nerves that direct the muscles around your eye to contract, they can stop working efficiently. This can cause your eyelid to appear to sag because it isn’t opening completely.

An injury or abrasion: if you’ve sustained trauma to your eye, the eye’s protective instinct will prevent you from opening it all the way, also making it look like your eyelid is sagging.   

Side effects of a neurological condition: A condition like myasthenia gravis can affect your eyes, limiting opening of the eyelids and causing a droopy expression.

Accidental damage during surgery: In rare cases, the muscles or tendons around the eye can be affected by laser eye surgery, causing the eyelid to droop.

Underlying health conditions: In rarer cases, eyelid drooping could be caused by a stroke, a brain tumor, or cancer. 

Ptosis treatment

Unless there is an underlying condition to be treated, the usual approach to fix ptosis is surgical. Dr. Laughlin can perform an eyelid lift (also known as blepharoplasty) here in our office. He’ll repair any muscle or tendon damage, and remove excess fat and skin to tighten the surface of the eyelid. A blepharoplasty procedure can be done on the upper eyelid, the lower eyelid, or both, and usually only takes one to two hours.

Do your eyelids sag? A blepharoplasty could be the answer. Call our office to book a consultation today 410-224-2020.

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