If you give merit to old adages, you may believe that what is behind our eyes is the soul. From our perspective, the phrase “the eyes are the windows to the soul” more or less referred to the way that a person’s general personality and excitement for life can be seen in their eyes. Where many people may struggle is when the eyes are hooded by heavy upper eyelids.
Eyelid hooding may be a cosmetic problem alone, or it may indicate that the structure of the affected eye has been compromised in some way. Sometimes we refer to hooding as ptosis, and sometimes this condition is observed as merely a side effect of age. Here, we discuss what may cause the eyelid to droop, and what can be done to improve appearance.
Eyelid Hooding May Be Caused By . . .
The natural effects of age may be the most common reason for a drooping eyelid or lids. There are several factors related to the aging of the eyelid, all related to Mother Nature herself. The skin on the eyelids is organically very fragile. Therefore, when we rub our eyes, the stretching that occurs has a lasting effect. With age, eyelid skin becomes even more delicate and vulnerable due to loss of support from strong collagen fibers. Finally, Mother Nature can reach in from the outside, in the form of UV light from sunshine, to degrade the collagen that keeps skin intact at the cellular level.
Ptosis may result from a direct injury to the eye, in which nerves that feed the muscles that open the upper eyelid lose potency. In some cases, it is a cranial or brain injury that lies beneath the position of the eyelid. This is also related to the operating function of the nerves around the eye.
Eyelid hooding can be a frustrating problem that affects more that the appearance of the eye. When ptosis is severe, it is also possible that vision could become impaired. One should not assume that cosmetic blepharoplasty is the most appropriate treatment for hooded eyelids. During consultation for eyelid surgery, Dr. Murrell is careful to observe the involvement of the levator muscle in addition to excess skin and other age-related factors in hooding.