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See Your Eyes Clearly

An eyelid lift can do more than just give you a youthful look. It may improve your vision.
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See Your Eyes Clearly

An eyelid lift can do more than just give you a youthful look. It may improve your vision.

As you add more candles to your birthday cake, you may notice the skin on your eyelids sagging down at the outer corners of your eyes. There’s no need to be embarrassed about it – it’s a natural part of getting older, according to Elizabeth Chiang, MD, PhD, an ophthalmologist and fellowship trained eyelid specialist at MetroHealth’s Eye Clinic. “The eyelid is the thinnest skin on the body, and with gravity, it droops over time,” she said. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to let droopy eyes get you down. There is a simple procedure called an eye lift that solves the problem. The best part: An eye lift isn’t always considered purely cosmetic. In fact, it’s sometimes medically necessary. As the lid stretches, it creates a hood of tissue that can block your peripheral vision. If drooping eyelids are interfering with your ability to drive, read and perform other daily tasks, you may want to talk to a doctor about whether an eye lift can improve your vision.

“A lot of patients don’t realize how much of their vision is blocked,” added Dr. Chiang. “After the surgery, they describe seeing the world in widescreen again.”

An Uplifting Surgery

An eye lift, also called blepharoplasty, is an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour. It can be performed in either a doctor’s office or an operating room. Most surgeons will operate on both of your eyes at the same time to keep the appearance of the lids symmetrical. They make incisions along the natural creases of the eyelids to remove excess tissue, helping to minimize scarring.  

After surgery, you’ll experience some bruising and swelling around your eyes. If you follow post-surgery instructions and ice your eyelids consistently, you’ll be fully healed in about two to three weeks. Patients typically experience relatively little pain, with most discomfort occurring the first day or two post-surgery. Dr. Chiang’s patients usually take acetaminophen or another over-the-counter pain reliever during this time.

Find Out if an Eye Lift is Right for You

Ophthalmologists perform visual field tests to determine whether your eyelids are interfering with your peripheral vision. They can perform these tests with your eyelids lifted to see if your vision improves. Submitting these test results, along with photographs of your eyelids, to your insurance company can help with coverage.

If you have questions about whether you’re eligible for eyelid surgery, please call MetroHealth’s Eye Clinic at 216-778-4391. Locations in Brecksville, Middleburg Heights and Parma.

 

Contributor:

Elizabeth C. Chiang, MD, Ph.D
Elizabeth Chiang,  MD, PHD
Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic Surgeon

 

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Eye Care (Ophthalmology and Optometry)