Having an eyelid problem can be painful, limit your vision and affect your appearance.
Many people have eyelid problems. They may include droopy upper eyelids, extra eyelid skin or eyelids that turn inward or outward. Fortunately, ophthalmologists can treat many types of eyelid problems with surgery.
Your eyelid skin is very thin and tends to stretch over time. Sometimes it stretches too much, causing excess eyelid skin. When this happens to the upper eyelid, it can limit your side vision.
Ophthalmologists can remove excess eyelid skin in a procedure called blepharoplasty. At the same time the surgeon may also remove extra fatty tissue near the eyelid or tighten muscles and tissue. This surgery helps make the area around the eye and lid look more clearly defined. It also makes eyes appear less tired and more alert.
When the lower eyelid droops down and turns outward, it is called ectropion. This can happen due to age, skin disease, or a burn to the eyelid. Ectropion can make your eyes dry, watery and sensitive to light and wind. If the lower eyelid turns in toward the eyeball it is called entropion. This condition can develop due to age, infection, or scarring inside the eyelid. When the eyelid turns inward, your eyelashes and skin may rub against the eye.
This can make your eye red, watery and very irritated. If it is not treated, entropion may also lead to an infection on your cornea (the clear surface of the eye). Surgery for ectropion and entropion returns the eyelid to its normal position. This helps reduce painful and irritating symptoms and protects your eye.
What to expect from eyelid surgery
Nearly all eyelid surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. A local anesthesia will be used to numb your eye and the area around it. Before surgery, your ophthalmologist will do a complete eye exam and talk with you about treatment options. He or she may also take photos of your eyes and test your side vision.