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.
Dr. Elliot Jacobs is an experienced, highly recognized New York plastic surgeon focusing on procedures for men. An innovator in his field. Dr. Jacobs has developed advanced techniques for correcting gynecomastia (enlarged male ‘breasts’) through liposuction, with a focus on comprehensive improvements from the chest to the waist area. He also provides surgical correction for men with overactive sweat glands through a minimally-invasive procedure that significantly reduces sweat production without eliminating it entirely.
A native New Yorker, Dr. Jacobs has served on the US Air Force and is an Honorary Police Surgeon for the New York City police Department. After earning his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he completed a General Surgery residency there as well, and received specialized training in plastic surgery techniques before ultimately earning the position of Chief Resident in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Jacobs is board-certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Plastic Surgery; he is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and a Fellow of both the American and the International Colleges of Surgeons.
Dr. Jacobs recognizes the challenges that men experience due to problems such as enlarged breast tissue and overactive sweat glands, and he enjoys working with his patients personally to help restore their appearance and help enable them to enjoy a more confident outlook. Dr. Jacobs is committed to the ongoing advancement of plastic surgery techniques, and is a Consultant in Plastic Surgery to the United Nations. A frequent contributor to national and local news sources, Dr. Jacobs is also on the attending staff of several New York area hospitals and is the author of Mantalk: Tips from the Pros for Great Looks, Good Health and Maintaining Your Competitive Edge