Dermatochalasis (Baggy Eyelids) Treatment in Huntington Beach
19671 Beach Blvd. Suite 400 Huntington Beach, California 92648
Dermatochalasis is the long medical term for baggy eyelids and occurs most frequently in patients older than 50. Since tissues around the eyes are very loose and movable, this area is the most likely of all in the body for early wrinkles and droops. These become stretched, and this stretching is accompanied by thinning and protrusion of the skin. Our experienced ophthalmologists at Clarity Eye Group in Huntington Beach offer dermatochalasis correction surgery with.
What Causes Dermatochalasis?
The true cause of the elastic degeneration, other than aging, is unknown. It is not a dietary or vitamin deficiency. It is, however, aggravated by exposure to the sun.
The soft loose tissues of the upper lids are most affected by Dermatochalasis. Sometimes this skin actually lies on top of the lashes, so some patients are able to keep their eyes open only by keeping the brow elevated with the muscles of the forehead and scalp. This may cause headaches and excessive fatigue, especially with reading. The upper portion of vision may also be cut off by this excessive tissue.
The lower lids are also affected, but usually to a lesser degree. They do not cause the functional problems, i.e. reading and general vision difficulties, as do the upper lids; however, baggy lower lids present a cosmetic concern for many patients.
How is Dermatochalasis Treated?
Treatment is first directed at prevention, by avoiding the harmful rays of the sun, but Dermatochalasis is probably hereditary, will occur with time, and is part of the normal aging process. The only effective treatment we have to offer is surgery.
This procedure simply involves tightening the loose tissues around the eyes. Excess skin is removed, and sometimes the muscle underlying the skin is also tightened. Occasionally deeper layers of fat are also excised. Scarring after surgery is usually minimal; these tissues are very forgiving and heal well.
What is Recovery Like After Dermatochalasis Surgery?
A considerable amount of bruising and swelling may accompany the procedure. Ice packs for 24 hours after surgery help some, but some people can expect to look like a “raccoon” for a week or two after surgery. Sunglasses hide this nicely in the first few days after surgery. The skin stitches are removed sometime in the first week, depending on the patient’s healing process.
What are the Risks of Surgery?
The risks associated with surgery are small, but real. If too much skin is taken, difficulty closing the eyes may result.
This creates a “dry eye” and is very uncomfortable. Very rarely, loss of vision results from bleeding around the eyes. If pain is noted after the operation, immediate attention is required to prevent any lasting visual problems.
How Do I Know if I Have Dermatochalasis?
Baggy eyelids may progress slowly with little to no symptoms at first. If you think you may have dermatochalasis, you can try looking at your upper eyelids in the mirror. Does the upper eyelid skin fold or wrinkle? Does the excess skin hang over the eyelashes and pupils? Dermatochalasis in the lower eyelids may present with dark circles, puffiness or loose skin that pulls down and away from the eyeball.
What are the Symptoms of Dermatochalasis?
Baggy eyelids typically cause headaches and eye irritation and might obstruct your field of vision. Driving safely or reading can be difficult with dermatochalasis because of poor eyesight. The excess skin may cause a burning or itching feeling in the eye, redness, eye pain and blurred vision from the irritation.
In some cases, the eyelids may turn inward (entropion), rubbing the eyelashes against the eye’s surface. Another potential complication is ectropion, whereby the lower eyelids turn outward and pull away from the eyeball, causing tear film and drainage issues.
Loose eyelid muscles make the forehead muscles work harder, and the baggy tissues are fuller and heavier. Some people with dermatochalasis develop persistent headaches because of the constant strain on the eyebrows.
Is Eyelid Surgery for Dermatochalasis Medically Necessary?
The eye procedure is considered medically necessary if the patient struggles with eye irritation, obstructed vision or headaches from baggy eyelids. Insurance providers might cover eyelid surgery in these cases. However, eyelid surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, such as improving a tired appearance, is considered elective.
Our Huntington Beach office can determine if eyelid surgery is needed for your dermatochalasis and discuss your insurance coverage and financing options.
Is Dermatochalasis Different from Eyelid Ptosis (Drooping)?
Natural aging affects the delicate eyelid skin, sometimes before other areas of the face and body. Eyelid-related issues may have multiple causes, and several conditions present with similar symptoms.
Less elastin in the skin tissues is typically the cause of dermatochalasis. Eyelid ptosis happens because the levator muscles in the eyelids are weakened or paralyzed, affecting how far the eyelid opens. While dermatochalasis is often a medical concern, droopy eyelids are more cosmetic and may not affect vision.
Another eyelid condition called blepharochalasis causes intermittent eyelid swelling and may come with fluid buildup. While dermatochalasis and eyelid ptosis are age-related problems, blepharochalasis is more common in younger people.
When Should I See an Eye Doctor About Dermatochalasis?
Any time you experience a problem with your vision, eyeball or eyelids, it’s a good idea to give our office a call and schedule an eye exam at Clarity Eye Group. One of our ophthalmologists will perform a comprehensive eye exam to make a proper diagnosis and discuss treatment.
Contact Clarity Eye Group in Huntington Beach, California
If you have symptoms of dermatochalasis or other concerns with your eyes or eyelids, contact Clarity Eye Group to schedule an eye exam. Call (714) 842-0651 or fill out our online contact form for an appointment.>
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19671 Beach Blvd. Suite 400 Huntington Beach, California 92648