When considering your eyes and your eye health, it’s important to remember that some conditions that may affect your vision develop outside or around of your eyes, rather than within them. One such condition is ptosis, where the upper eyelids begin to droop, sometimes to the point that they interfere with one’s ability to properly see and carry out daily tasks. Ptosis, however, is not the only condition that can interfere with a patient’s eyesight. A similar issue, dermatochalasis, can also cause problems, and may even require medical intervention in some cases. Because of this, it’s important for everyone to understand what this condition entails, and what to do should they find that they need treatment for it.
“Dermatochalasis” describes a condition where the elastic tissues and fibers underneath of the skin around our eyes are unable to maintain their elasticity, and so lose the ability to hold on to their normal shape and structure. As this happens, our skin tissues will begin to stretch and expand, creating excess skin that hangs or droops downwards; this loss of elasticity also often leads to thinning of the skin, wrinkling and/or drooping.
This condition is sometimes referred to as “baggy eyelids” outside of the medical community. However, while general cases of “baggy eyelids” are not particularly uncommon, extreme cases of dermatochalasis can still be problematic. In some cases, dermatochalasis can lead to brow aches. Like ptosis, dermatochalasis can also potentially interfere with one’s ability to see properly, if it develops on the upper eyelid. Unlike ptosis - where the drooping occurs due to muscle problems - dermatochalasis occurs over time, and often does so due to the natural side effects of aging.
Dermatochalasis can’t be prevented, but there are steps that anyone and everyone can take to reduce its progression. Since dermatochalasis is a skin aging issue, these steps revolve around one theme: good skin care.
To reduce your own risk of developing dermatochalasis, make sure that you:
- Do not over-wash your face, as this can create more skin problems
- Keep your skin well moisturized - this will help keep it healthy
- Avoid smoking and excessive drinking, which can damage your skin
- Use sunscreen, wear sunglasses, and avoid spending more time in the sun than necessary to prevent some aging-related skin issues
As mentioned earlier, the development of dermatochalasis - baggy eyelids - is normal, especially if you’re over the age of 50. But the condition should not interfere with your ability to live a normal life. If it does you should speak with your eye doctors about eyelid surgery - or blepharoplasty treatments, which removes the problematic excess skin.
Our Final Thoughts On Dermatochalasis
While some stretching and drooping of the skin can be expected as we all age, cases where these developments interfere with your ability to see and live a normal life should not be ignored. By taking care of your skin now, you may be able to retard the development of severe dermatochalasis. If, however, you ever notice the skin around your eyes sagging more than you’d expect them to, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately. They will be able to refer you to a specialist if needed, and will be able to help you return your vision to a state of normalcy.