Sometimes people may develop problems with their eyelids and wonder what to do about the condition. These conditions may include lumps and bumps, drooping, or malpositions such as eyelids turning in or out, or lashes growing into the eyes and irritating them. Some conditions may be benign and some may lead to significant disfigurement.
Let’s start with ptosis, otherwise known as drooping eyelids. Drooping of the eyelids is common as people age and is usually caused by stretching of the upper eyelid muscles or skin. If the eyelid covers the pupil, it may interfere with the superior visual field and can cause difficulty with reading and driving, and lead to headaches from constantly raising the eyebrows to see better. Other causes of ptosis can be due to muscular or neurologic conditions and therefore it needs to be evaluated because it can lead to other problems in the body. An evaluation includes learning more about your condition, examining the eyes, taking photos and performing a visual field test to examine the peripheral vision. If the eyelids are interfering with the vision, surgery may be performed to correct the drooping of the eyelid by either removing some of the excess skin and fat (Blepharoplasty) or tightening the muscles in the eyelid (Ptosis surgery) that has become weak.
If you notice lumps and bumps on the eyelids, they may be benign or malignant. Sometimes they can press on the eye and distort the vision by inducing astigmatism. It is a good idea to have them evaluated. Eyelid lesions can include: due to water or other fluid filled cysts, chalazion, skin growths, or tumors. These can be evaluated and treated at Marble Valley Eye care or at Rutland Regional Medical Center.
When the eyelids turn in, this is called an entropion, and when the eyelids turn out it is called an ectropion. Eyelid malpositions such as these if untreated can lead to conjunctivitis, dry eye, infections or scarring of the cornea (which can lead to loss of vision) so it is important to have them checked.
This week’s Health Talk was written by Dr. Ryan Rogers, ophthalmology, at Marble Valley Eye Care. For more information on eyelid surgery, contact Marble Valley Eye Care at 802-773-8328.