By Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown, Elmquist Eye Group
Maintaining healthy eyesight is essential. That’s why it is important to seek proper treatment for issues that can impact the quality of your vision. Changes in the eyelid tissues and surrounding skin are a common, yet often overlooked, development that can affect the way you see the world.
Nearly every day at Elmquist Eye Group, we see patients who are frustrated by eyelids that seem droopy and notice their eyes aren’t open all the way, even though they don’t feel tired or sleepy.
Eyelid skin is very thin and is often one of the first areas in the body to show signs of aging. There are many influencing factors that may contribute to this, including smoking, sun damage, genetics as well as wear and tear from blinking and rubbing. The skin and muscles of your eyelids and eyebrows can start to lose their elasticity and sag over time. These changes, along with the weight of redundant skin, can affect the eyelid contour and begin blocking your peripheral or even central vision.
Consciously trying to keep your eyes open wider might temporarily expand your scope of vision, but it may come with an unintended consequence – wrinkles on your forehead. If your vision is suffering due to sagging eyelids, surgery may be an option for you.
How can droopy eyelids be fixed?
Blepharoplasty, the official name for the most common type of upper eyelid surgery, is a relatively simple medical procedure that can enhance the positioning of upper eyelids by removing loose skin, tightening muscles and removing fat as needed. Patients are given anesthesia and made very drowsy while a local numbing medicine is placed in the eyelids. After that, patients remain awake during the surgical procedure, but may be given more medication for relaxation as needed.
Eye surgeons try to minimize scarring by making incisions that will be concealed within the eyelid after healing. The key to successful healing is doing your part after surgery: don’t rub your eyes or perform heavy lifting during the recovery period. It’s also advisable to wear protective glasses whenever possible.
After a few weeks, you will notice the biggest impact is improved peripheral vision. The days where droopy eyelids impaired your side or peripheral vision will be long gone, and the larger visual field will allow in more natural light, helping you see better.
Like all surgical procedures, there are risks with blepharoplasty. If you are suffering from droopy eyelids, it is important to speak to your ophthalmologist about the best options for your individual needs, what to expect for the surgery and how to ensure a smooth recovery process.
If you have concerns about your vision, it is important to speak to a doctor to discuss treatment options. Dr. E. Trevor Elmquist, Dr. Kate Wagner, Dr. Nina Burt and Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown of Elmquist Eye Group are available to answer your questions. With 25 years of service to the Southwest Florida community, Elmquist Eye Group offers experienced doctors that are dedicated to patient care. For more information, visit www.Elmquist.com, call 239-936-2020 or stop by an Optical Boutique location in Fort Myers or Cape Coral.
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