Eyelid Conditionscauses, symptoms and treatments

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Last updated 9/29/2019
Eyelid Conditions and Disorders, Assil Eye Institute Los Angeles

Eyelid function and common disorders

Eyelids function as a protective covering for your eyes. Apart from acting as a natural barrier to outside particles, they are also responsible for keeping your eyes moist and preventing them from drying out.

 

When your eyelids do not function properly, this can result in irritation and even injury to your eye and cause vision problems. Many conditions can affect your eyelids, making vision difficult or changing your physical appearance. 

What is oculoplastics?

When someone has a condition that affect their eyelids,  which can make vision difficult or change their physical appearance, the family of procedures to fix these conditions is called "oculoplastics"  Simply put, occuplastics is the group of surgical procedures that restore eyelid function.

 

The most common eyelid conditions that oculoplastics treat include:

Baggy eyelids (dermatochalasis)

Dermatochasis, Eyelid conditions, Assil Eye Institute

Dermatochalasis is the term describing the presence of excess eyelid skin or fat at the upper or lower lids. Also known as “Baggy Eyes”, it can result in obstruction of your field of vision and eye fatigue, making daily tasks like reading or driving challenging.

 

Baggy eyelids surgery

A blepharoplasty, commonly referred to as “eyelid surgery”, involves removing excess skin, muscle and fat from the upper lid or the lower eyelids, in order to reduce the baggy appearance of skin around the eyes. While cosmetic surgery practices and facial plastic surgeons also perform surgery of the eyelids, Oculoplastics (Eyelid) Specialists are generally considered the ¨go to¨ experts.

 

Blepharoplasties are typically performed through skin incisions made along the natural skin creases in the upper and lower eyelids in order to hide the surgical scars from view. Lower eyelid blepharoplasties can also be performed with the incision made in the inside surface of the lower lid so that no scar is visible from the outside. 

 

A blepharoplasty usually takes from one to three hours to perform. Post-op swelling and bruising will take two to three weeks to resolve and the final results will become apparent after several months.

  

It is important to know that insurance companies consider blepharoplasties an elective cosmetic procedure and will not cover their cost unless there is significant vision impairment resulting from the eyelid condition.

 

Droopy eyelids (ptosis) 

Blepharoptosis or Ptosis (pronounced TOEsis), describes drooping of the upper eyelids and also affects an individual’s line of sight. This can be caused by aging, trauma, long term contact lens use, prior surgery or damage to the nerves responsible for elevating your eyelids. It can affect kids as well as adults.

  

Children with ptosis can develop decreased vision in one eye (known as ¨lazy eye¨or amblyoplia), strabismus (crossed eyes), refractive errors, astigmatism or blurred vision. For this reason, it's important to correct childhood ptosis promptly to avoid these consequences that can affect their visual development.

 

What causes Ptosis? 

Ptosis is caused by improper functioning of the muscles or nerves involved in raising the eyelid. It can affect one or both eyes and is more common in the elderly. You can also be born with it, though the cause of hereditary drooping eyelids is unknown. Ptosis in adults could be a sign of an underlying disease such as myasthenia gravis, diabetes, Horner’s Syndrome, a tumor or exposure to toxin in some snake venoms.

 

Surgical treatments for Ptosis

There are various approaches to ptosis repair depending on the type and severity of the condition. Surgery involves shortening or reattaching the stretched muscle responsible for elevating the eyelid in order to restore a normal field of vision. This is done on an out-patient basis. Recovery is fairly quick. Most people can return to work in a few days.

 

Eyelid Malposition

Eyelids must be normally aligned in order to properly protect your eye, to ensure good tear production for eye lubrication, to facilitate adequate tear drainage and to allow you to close your eyes properly with every blink. When your eyelid is turned abnormally out or in, this can result in constant irritation, tearing, pain and discharge. 

 

Eyelids turning out (ectropion)

Eye lid Conditions, Ectropion, Assil Eye Institute

Ectropion is the term used to describe outward turning of an eyelid (usually the lower lid) that exposes the inner portion of the lid to air resulting in dry eye, tearing, a gritty feeling in the eye, crusting and discharge, and red, tired and burning eyelids.

 

You can be born with ectropion or it can occur due to aging, trauma, nerve damage due to stroke, facial nerve palsy (Bell's palsy), or even from certain anti-cancer drugs. When left untreated, ectropion can result in corneal damage due to exposure.

 

Eyelids turning in (entropian)

Entropion describes inward turning of the eyelid (typically the lower lid) usually due to aging and weakening of certain eyelid tendons and muscles. Other causes can include trauma, neurologic conditions, scarring or prior eyelid surgery.

 

Inward turning of the eyelid results in the eyelashes rubbing against the surface of the eye. This causes irritation and redness, sensitivity to light and wind. If entropion is not treated, it can eventually result in eye infections, permanent corneal scarring and vision loss.

Surgical treatments for ectropion and entropion

Thankfully for these patients, surgical repair of ectropion or entropion is relatively simple. Ectropion repair usually involves shortening lax tendons and muscles and, in some cases, might require a small skin graft with skin taken from behind your ear. Entropion repair involves removing excess skin on the outer eyelid that is causing the lid to turn in. Surgery is usually performed on an out-patient basis with light anesthesia.

 

Why have oculoplastic eyelid surgery at AEI?

Assil Eye Institute’s dedication to providing the best eye care available is what motivates us to strive for the highest standards of excellence when it comes to performing eye surgery on our patients. Because of this, we offer some of the best trained ophthalmologists in the nation.

 

There are no “one size fits all” options at AEI. Your treatment depends upon the health of your eyes, your lifestyle and your goals. And if we believe a surgical option is not the best approach for you, we will tell you. That’s what we would want a surgeon to tell us before we underwent any procedure. And treating our patients the way we would want to be treated is one of the core tenets of our practice. Period.

 

Contact us today to arrange for a personal evaluation and consultation.

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