The eyelids are responsible for shielding the eyes from debris and bright light. Eyelids also help to keep the eyes moisturized as they spread tears over the surface of the eye while blinking. The eyelids are susceptible to certain conditions — some of which are merely cosmetic and others that affect the lids’ form and function. Learn more about the cosmetic eyelid surgery options below.
Ectropion and entropion are problems that affect the eyelid skin. Ectropion is a condition where the eyelid turns outward, exposing the skin of the inner eyelid and causing irritation. Entropion is a condition where the eyelid turns inward, causing irritation. Lubricating eye drops can help to relieve some of the irritation of these conditions but surgical correction is usually necessary at some point.
The eyelids may droop for several reasons, including the age-related loosening of the eyelid skin, loosening of the tendon of the levator muscle that lifts the eyelid, a medical condition that paralyzes the nerve responsible for lifting the lid or as the result of an eye injury. Mild eyelid drooping can be fixed with Botox injections. In severe cases, the drooping upper eyelid skin sags into the line of sight and obstructs vision. The only way to correct significant eyelid droop is through eyelid surgery.
Blepharospasm is a spasm of the eyelid that varies from a light, annoying twitch to a spasm that forcibly closes the eye. While the cause of most cases is largely unknown, it may be caused by eye diseases like dry eye and medical conditions such as thyroid disease. Bright light, fatigue, and anxiety can exacerbate the spasms. We use Botox to relax the eyelid muscles and stop the spasms. Oral medication and surgery are other treatment options.
Styes and chalazions are infections that cause red, painful lumps near the edge of the eyelids. Usually resembling boils or pimples, they are the result of plugged glands that line the eyelid. Most styes and chalazions disappear on their own, but if they don’t, the doctor can inject a corticosteroid or drain the lump surgically.
The Asian eyelid anatomy differs from the Caucasian eyelid. Often the upper eyelid does not have a naturally occurring eyelid crease. This cosmetic procedure creates an ethnically-appropriate upper eyelid crease to create a more Western, “bright-eye” appearance, which also allows for easier application of eyelid makeup.
Eyelid lesions are abnormal lumps of tissue on the eyelid, which can develop due to eye trauma, as a symptom of a health problem, or for no reason at all. Common symptoms of eyelid lesions include dry or red eyelids, irritation, and blurry vision that cannot be improved by updating your corrective lenses. Lesions can gradually grow in size, becoming more noticeable and more irritating. Some eyelid lesions possess cancerous qualities but most are benign in nature.
Pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that starts in the clear, thin tissue of the eye called the conjunctiva; slowly passing through the cornea. The exact cause is unknown but is associated with excessive exposure to wind, sunlight or sand. It is twice as likely to occur in men as it is in women. Symptoms include persistent redness from smoke, inflammation, foreign body sensation, tearing, dry and itchy eyes. Advanced pterygiums can affect vision as they invade the cornea.
A 3 snip punctoplasty is performed to widen the tear duct (punctal opening) and to improve the drainage of tears. Punctal stenosis, which is an abnormal narrowing of the lacrimal punctum, often caused by inflammation and resulting in excessive tearing, is the main reason to perform this surgery. One or both eyes can be affected. Local anesthesia is injected right beside the blocked tear duct and then the surgeon makes 3 small “snips” to create a larger tear duct opening.
The team at Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser can diagnose and treat a variety of eyelid/eye disorders and perform cosmetic eyelid surgery. If you have noticed a suspicious symptom or growth and would like to get it checked out by our eye doctors, please contact the FVCL clinic closest to you. We can schedule an examination and determine the cause and appropriate plan of eye treatment.