Can Droopy Eyelids Affect Vision?

Can excess skin on your eyelids have an effect on your vision? I am a 56 year old who is an avid reader and lately I can't read for long because my vision blurs so badly. If I put my fingers on my eyelid it seems to help. I have been to 4 eye doctors but have not mentioned my eyelids.

Doctor Answers 11

Can Droopy Eyelids Affect Vision? Droopy Eyelids May Affect Vision and Require Medically Necessary Blepharoplasty

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It is possible that your droopy eyelids are causing your vision problems. I'm surprised you didn't mention this to the ophthalmologists you consulted. I would suggest going back to one of them, alerting him or her to your suspicion about your eyelids and requesting a visual field test. If the test is positive, you may qualify for a medically necessary blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) that could be covered by your insurance.

You should also consult with a facial plastic surgeon to have your eyelids evaluated; whether the surgery is covered by insurance or not, your eyelids seem to be causing you distress and fatigue and you may benefit from blepharoplasty. You'd have the added benefit of looking younger and more alert. I hope this helps.

Droopy Eyelids And Visual Acuity

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Droopy eyes can be caused by a variety of factors including excess upper eyelid skin, brow descent and eyelid ptosis. Although none of these conditions affects visual acuity, they all have the potential to affect vision by decreasing the patient's visual field.

Under these circumstances, it's appropriate to consult a board certified plastic surgeon. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and improves your vision.

Can Droopy Eyelids Effect Vision?

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Droopy eyelids can disrupt your vision.  I recommend you book a consult with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who can evaluate the area and determine if you would be a good candidate for a blepharoplasty procedure.  

Excess skin blocking vision

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 Thank you for your question. It is quite common for patients to complain of poor vision while they are reading if they have excess skin hanging on the upper eyelids. There is a procedure called blepharoplasty which can treat this problem and is often covered by the insurance if it is affecting the vision. See a board-certified oculoplastic surgeon who can perform full evaluation and discuss treatment options. 

Visual impairment due to droopy eyelids

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Indeed excess skin in the upper lids can occur whereby it folds over upon itself and creates weight on the upper lids and eyelashes. This is a medical condition called dermatochalasis. If there is a significant amount of visual field obstruction due to this (usually over 30%) then it becomes a medical condition, which may be submitted to insurance. The excess skin can certainly affect upper visual fields on the lateral gaze.

Upper eyelid skin can block vision

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It is possible for loose skin in the upper eyelid to block your vision.  This doesn't occur with the lower eyelid.  It is also possible that your upper eyelid muscle is not functioning properly leading to drooping of your upper eyelid.  This could also affect vision.  An eye doctor can examine you and give you a formal answer to your question.  You can also look at yourself in the mirror.  You may see the loose skin of the upper eyelid hanging over your eyelashes, especially toward the outside of your eyes.  If the muscle is not lifting your eyelid properly, you may see that your upper eyelid is drooping, giving you a tired look.  One eyelid may be lower than the other.  The next time you see your eye doctor, ask them directly, even if they don't mention it.  Good luck!

Dr. Parham Ganchi - NJ Plastic Surgeon -

Sagging Upper lids CAN affect visibility in the upper visual fields

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Sagging upper lids can come low enough to interfere with vision in the upper visual fields not the lower visual fields associated with reading. There are formal tests that can be done to quantitative your visual fields and the impact your upper lids on them. These tests are usually done by optometrists. If positive, SOME insurance companies may pay for the proper operation to correct this process (upper Blepharoplasty or ptosis repair).

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Droopy eyelids

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The excess skin in the upper eyelid can be enough to cause visually significant problems.  The eyelid itself may also be lower secondary to age-related weaking of the eye-opening muscle.  So the answer to your questions is YES.

Dr T.


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If the lids are drooping they can obstruct vision.  It may be possible I would suppose that there may be some physics that could affect your vision. In any case, you may benefit from a brow lift.

Droopy eyelids and vision

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Droopy eyelids generally can cause obstruction to vision particularly in the upper-outward visual fields if severe. You should have an examination with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.