The main function of the eyelids is to protect the underlying eyeball by way of keeping it covered during periods of involuntary blink, voluntary closure and during sleep. In addition, they help distribute the tears over the eye surface not only for comfort but also to enable clear vision. Common conditions of the eyelids are the following:
1. Droopy eyelids (Ptosis)
Droopy eyelids lead to an appearance called ‘bed room eyes’. When significant, it may interfere with vision by blocking images from the superior field of vision. While the most common causes in adults is from prolonged contact lens use, injury or aging, it may also be seen as a anomaly at birth, which if not treated early may lead to permanent lazy eyes ( amblyopia). Treatment often involves a day-surgery procedure which not only enhances vision but also quality of life.
2. Baggy eyes/Dermatochalasis
This is commonly seen in older adults as an ageing change both in the upper and lower eyelids. The most common cause is progressive stretching of tissues and loss of elasticity. Occasionally, puffiness of the eyelids may be seen from fat herniation and rarely from tear gland prolapse. Blepharoplasty is a simple day surgery procedure that improves the appearance and function of the eyelids. An eyelid crease (double eyelid) may be created at the same time. A detailed evaluation by your Eye plastic surgeon will determine if it is a medically indicated or esthetically desired procedure.
3. Entropion and Ectropion
Inturning or Outward turning of the eyelid. Also called Entropion and Ectropion respectively, this is most often seen as an aging change which can result in irritation, tearing and rarely blindness from corneal damage. Common causes are stretching and weakening of the eyelid structures. Correction usually involves some form of tightening which enhances form and function of the eyelids.
Often seen in children and young adults of East Asian origin ( Chinese, Japanese & Koreans), the lower and sometimes the upper eyelashes are turned inwards causing corneal irritation, redness, watering and irritation. While in most patients it is mild and improves over time with lubrication, not infrequently surgical correction may be required to alleviate the symptoms providing permanent relief.
Epiblepharon with corneal abrasions
5. Other Conditions
They include benign and malignant tumors, injury from domestic and road traffic accidents which when determined whether they are isolated or associated with systemic disease may be managed appropriately.