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Eyelid Surgery

Contact Lenses and Eyelid Surgery

woman puting in contact lens

If you wear contact lenses, you might have wondered whether they could lead to droopy lids and the need for eyelid surgery in the future. There’s increasing evidence that this could indeed be the case, and it’s one of the most common questions we get about eyelid surgery.

In fact, if these statements apply to you, there’s a good chance your contacts have or will contribute to sagging eyelids:

  • You have worn contacts for years
  • You wear or have worn hard lenses
  • You have suffered contact lens-related eye problems

Doctors believe there are at least two ways contact lenses can cause eyelids to lose elasticity. One has to do with the fact that contacts tend to irritate the lids at times. And, no matter how careful a patient is, handling lenses introduces foreign matter and bacteria that can cause inflammation and infection. Eyelid skin is some of the most delicate skin on the body, and it doesn’t take much to impact its resilience.

Contacts can also lead to sagging eyelids as the wearer pushes and pulls the lids to insert and remove lenses. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, has published several studies over the past two decades on the topic. The research suggests that the repeated action of contact lens removal, in particular, leads to “ptosis” (drooping) of the upper lids.

If you have sagging eyelids, chances are you think about what you might do about the condition just as much as what may have caused it. You probably know that eyelid surgery, referred to by the medical community as “blepharoplasty,” might be an option for you. Indeed, this form of facial plastic surgery is arguably one of the most rewarding for patients. It offers a big payoff in that it opens the eyes up again, restoring a youthful, alert appearance. Patients no longer have to worry about whether they look tired, angry or even sad when they feel none of those things.

This payoff in an improved appearance comes at a relatively modest cost. Blepharoplasty:

  • Is one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures
  • Causes most patients little discomfort
  • Usually involves a short recovery time
  • Is safe in the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon

Even if you continue to wear contact lenses far into the future, you may still be a good candidate for eyelid surgery. But it will be especially important to get the green light from your ophthalmologist prior to committing to blepharoplasty. After you have seen your eye doctor, schedule at least two consultations with board certified plastic or oculoplastic surgeons who are highly experienced in performing eyelid surgery. You should be looking great and seeing well in no time.

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April 25, 2014
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