Several factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking, stretching and obesity can cause the eyelids to droop and sag as the supporting tissues weaken. This area of the face is often one of the first to decline, as the skin of the eyelid is thinner than other areas of the face. Eyelids that droop or bulge can affect peripheral vision, making certain normal daily activities, such as driving, more difficult.
If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, a functional blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, may become necessary. This procedure can be covered by medical insurance if it is visually significant. A determination of how much this condition affects vision is done by checking the peripheral visual field with an instrument called the Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) Analyzer.
An upper blepharoplasty will tighten the muscles and tissue as well as remove excess fat and skin from the upper eyelids. A blepharoplasty can eliminate the drooping of the skin into the visual field, improving peripheral vision tremendously.
Cosmetic blepharoplasty can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelid or both. If no skin needs to be removed, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty can be performed, in which the incision is made inside the lower eyelid so there are no visible scars. This procedure has no affect on vision, but offers a younger, more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face.
Blepharoplasty is the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance the eyes have in perfecting overall appearance. In fact, two-thirds of adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.