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Eyelid Surgery

Causes Of Saggy Eyelids and Ways of Dealing With Them

mature woman smiling

The saggy eyelid is a colloquial term for the ptosis, the issue which can affect a lot of people. Ptosis can cause the whole variety of consequences, from esthetic ones to those that are more dangerous and harder to treat. Factors that cause this issue are numerous and the best way to really understand this condition is to get well informed about it. Below are the most common originators, and few pieces of advice to deal with them.

Becoming Older

The most common cause of saggy eyelids is aging and it affects both eyes. This process can change the face of the person to the level that they’ll look even older than they really are. While our body is growing older, a lot of muscles tend to loosen up, and the same process affects the muscles in eyelids. All of this is causing so-called “weepy eyes,” the look that can be misinterpreted with sadness and fatigue.


It’s well-known that person’s DNA can and will define lot of their characteristics. One of those characteristics can be a malfunction of the upper eyelid levator muscle. This causes the saggy eyelids in the newborns, and it is crucial to get corrected, in order to avoid amblyopia and astigmatism. The surgery is basically mandatory in cases where eyelids covered the pupils.

Nerve Malfunctions

The brain injuries and the injuries of head nerves (cranial nerves) can also trigger the ptosis. This happens because those nerves are responsible for eyelid muscle innervation, therefore leading toward malfunction of the muscle itself. Those disorders will usually cause ptosis on the one side of the face, also cause anhidrosis and constricted pupil.

The damage of the sympathetic nerves can be responsible for an uncommon disorder which goes under the name Horner’s Syndrome. Other illnesses which can cause this syndrome are strokes, tumors or lesions of the spinal cord. The treatment of Horner’s Syndrome is challenging since it comes with more than a few symptoms.

Muscle Affliction

There are few more conditions where genetics predestinate one’s droopy eyes. First of those conditions is oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. It affects the movement of the eyes and is a major cause of the saggy eyelids.

The next in line is progressive external ophthalmoplegia, which is more common in the young adults population. It causes ptosis which is bilateral and can also affect eye movements.

Another, but uncommon, disease is myasthenia gravis, which occurs as a result of the poor connection between nerves and eyelid muscles. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to treat.

Another malady of the eyelids is called dermatochalasis. Its symptoms are losing elasticity of the skin on both eyelids, therefore causing ptosis. It emerges as the consequence of both aging and genetic predisposition. Luckily, as it is a mainly aesthetic issue it can be easily treated with blepharoplasty.

Risky Behaviors Causing Saggy Eyelids

Once you’re well informed with the hereditary and other factors which often come by chance, now it’s a good time to pay attention to a list of risky behavior that can cause ptosis or make it worse:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Excessive use of tobacco and similar products
  • Unprotected and long exposure to the sun
  • Some types of diabetes can also induce ptosis, especially long-term ones
  • Infection (orbital cellulitis) or inflammation (blepharitis) of the eyelids
  • Ptosis may also occur as aftereffect of the cataract surgery
  • Bad sleeping cycle (fatigue) will most certainly cause the baggy eyelids, so make sure to get enough rest every night
  • Other causes of droopy eyes may be allergies and fluid retention. The good news is that those can’t develop ptosis, therefore the issue will remain purely cosmetic.

Final Thoughts

Great pieces of advice, thorough research, and education about ptosis and its origins will certainly lead to the successful approach towards the solution. Make sure to read a lot before you find the right treatment and an experienced professional who will assist you in the healing process. The upside is that there is plenty of medical research around ptosis (saggy eyelids) and other eye-related issues. The treating techniques are getting better and more effective daily. Feel free to consult your medical practitioner about the steps you should take and they’ll give you the best answers. It won’t take long before you recover your beauty and overall health.

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July 8, 2017
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