Eyelid surgery is thought to be cosmetic, but there are times when it is medically necessary. Here’s when it’s really needed.
When you cherish someone, you might say they’re the “apple of your eye.” This phrase was used for centuries in English, even by the likes of William Shakespeare.
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the eyelids are its curtains.
Eyelid surgery is a relatively simple operation many people need for medical conditions.
Not Just for Looks
You may think eyelid surgery is performed only for cosmetic reasons. Although procedures such as blepharoplasty are sometimes done for cosmetic reasons, they can also have medical applications. For some, eyelid surgery is a medical necessity, especially if the excess skin hangs down far enough over the upper lid that it blocks vision. At this point, most insurance companies will pay for the procedure to restore lost vision.
Here are some of the most common medical reasons this surgery is performed.
This condition is also known as ptosis. It is caused by stretching of the tendon of the “lifting” muscle of the upper eyelid, resulting in the entire eyelid dropping down. It may be due to congenital abnormalities, Myasthenia Gravis, contact lens wear, and other conditions.
For these patients, eyelid lift surgery lets them see better and have an improved appearance.
Sometimes, the skin folds can become irritated and even infected. This can lead to redness, a rash like appearance, and discomfort.
Blepharoplasty removes some of the excess skin folds that rub together and cause such irritation and possibly infection.
Facial pain can occur due to excess muscle tension, especially when the eyebrows are overactive. This sometimes leads to a “muscle contraction” type headache.
Eyelid surgery is a simple process that can lead to lasting relief for these who suffer such pain.
Blepharospasm is a condition where the ocular muscles responsible for closing your eyes begin to twitch and spasm, sometime to the extent that the eyelids cannot be voluntarily opened. Persistent eyelid spasms can be very distressing to the patient, especially if severe enough that one is rendered functionally blind due to the inability to open the eyelids to see. Driving, TV watching, and reading can become impossible if blepharospasm is severe enough. Eyelid surgery is sometimes an alternative to Botox injections, which is the primary treatment.
Entropion or Ectropion
This is when your eyelid is abnormally turned inward (EN-tropion) or outward (EC-tropion). These two conditions can lead to devastating results if untreated. This includes infection or the loss of vision, even the eye.
Despite its threat to vision, both conditions can usually be treated with a 20 minute operation to correct the condition.
Who Needs Surgery?
Only a physician can diagnose your medical conditions and determine the need for surgery. An ophthalmologist, optometrist, or plastic surgeon would have the most expertise in these areas.
Your doctor will be able to decide if you’re a better candidate for surgery or other types of treatment.
See If Eyelid Surgery Is Right for You
If you suffer any of these conditions, eyelid surgery may be right for you. So, if you have any concerns about your condition, please schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.
Better health and vision can be closer than you think. Maybe eyelid surgery is right for you.
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