What can I do about my droopy eyelids? I have inherited them from my mom and I don't like them!
by Brian Kiesnowski, MD, MPH
- Q: - My upper eyelid skin is hanging down and droopy. It makes me look like my eyes are closed. Both my mom and I have this family trait. I am in my 40's and my mom is 65. Is there anything that can be done for this and will my insurance cover this?
- A: - There is a medical term for what you are describing which is dermatochalasia. It is a condition where the upper eyelid skin hangs down toward the eyelashes and may even droop over the eyelashes. Excess skin on the upper eyes can give you the feeling of heaviness and can make your eyes look smaller. When this condition is severe, there can be some loss of peripheral vision because the excess skin blocks the full range of vision. When the severity of the condition reaches this point, most insurance carriers, including Medicare, will usually cover the cost of the surgery to correct this problem. There is a simple and painless test that can be performed by your regular vision care specialist that can help determine whether you are experiencing vision loss. As a general rule, if your examination reveals that your eyelid skin rests on your eyelashes when your eyes are open, there is a chance that you are experiencing some peripheral visual field loss. Surgical correction of this problem is performed on an outpatient basis and takes about an hour. You will need to limit activities for about ten days and there is little or no pain for most patients. As for the ideal time to perform this surgical correction, if there is a loss of peripheral vision, I would say that the time is now. For most patients, the results are long lasting and will typically not need to be repeated. For many patients, this procedure will not only improve their vision, but their aesthetic appearance as well.