Sagging of the upper eyelids is a condition in which the upper eyelids fall to a position lower than the normal, giving the eyes a droopy appearance. Medically, this condition is known as blepharoptosis or ptosis and occurs with the weakening of levators muscles that help in lifting the eyelids. Severe cases can lead to obstruction of vision as the drooping eyelid can partially or completely obstruct the pupil. If this condition is severe and is left untreated, it can lead to amblyopia (lazy eyes) in children or astigmatism, both causing impairment of vision.
How do sagging upper eyelids look?
The drooping eyelid narrows the opening of the eye, making it appear smaller than normal. In some cases, the fold of skin between the upper eyelid and eyebrow is lost. The person suffering from this condition may unconsciously try to compensate for the limited vision by raising eyebrows and may have a surprised look on his or her face.
Self-Diagnosis of Ptosis
Look straight into a mirror, a sizable part of the eye should be visible above the pupil. No part of the pupil should be covered by the eyelid
What causes sagging of the upper eyelids/ptosis?
The most common cause of sagging of the upper eyelids is weakening of the levator muscles due to age. Mechanical damage to the eye due to injury, corrective surgery, or cataract surgery can also cause this condition. Autoimmune diseases like myasthenia gravis and diabetes mellitus, medical conditions like tumors of the brain and lungs, as well as certain toxins like those from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum (the causative agent of botulism) and the snake black mamba can also lead to ptosis.
How to fix sagging of the upper eyelids?
Severe cases of ptosis can only be rectified with surgical intervention. For milder cases where surgery may be unnecessary, here are some natural and easy-to-follow remedies to help alleviate the condition.
Cucumbers are rich in caffeic acid and ascorbic acid. They help in maintaining smooth, healthy, and glowing skin. They also help in reduction of inflammation and tightening of the skin. Place a chilled slice of cucumber over the affected area and leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse it off with cool water. This not only helps in reducing the sagginess of the eyelids but also prevents their occurrence.
Chamomile contains high levels of antioxidants like terpenoids and flavonoids. Chill the chamomile tea bags in the refrigerator and apply it to the eyelids for 20-25 minutes. Regular application of this would help reduce sagginess of the eyelids.
Aloe Vera Mask:
Aloe vera has skin tightening and astringent properties. It also helps to soothe skin and improve its elasticity. A pack of four teaspoons of aloe vera gel, four teaspoons of yoghurt and two teaspoons of oatmeal with a few slices of cucumber, when applied for 10-20 minutes, can help tighten saggy eyelids.
Egg White Mask:
Eggs white contains biotin and collagen that are required for maintaining elasticity of the skin. Topically applying the egg white to the upper eyelid can immediately reduce sagging. Continuous usage has long-term benefits and may restore the skin’s elasticity. It is important to wait for the egg white to dry out before washing it off with cold water.
Grapes have high quantities of polyphenols like resveratrol that have anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties. The inclusion of grapes in diet and topical application of grape juice can not only reduce drooping of the upper eyelids and also prevent fine lines and wrinkles from appearing.
Application of ice always helps in the reduction of inflammation by constricting blood vessels. Ice cubes and very cold water can be highly effective in lessening droopiness of the eyelids.
Apart from these natural remedies, certain exercises can also help in reducing sagging of the upper eyelids.
Place three fingers from each hand under each eyebrow. The palms need to be relaxed and can touch your face. Use your fingers to gently push the eyebrows as high as possible, while ensuring that your eyes are wide open. Hold it this way for about five seconds. Push down the forehead muscles to create resistance to the fingertips and hold this position for another five seconds. Repeat the exercise for 5-10 times a day. This helps in strengthening the forehead muscles and lifts the eyebrow.
Raise the eyebrows as high as possible while keeping your eyes wide open. Hold the position for five seconds before slowly lowering your eyebrows. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times a day. This exercise also helps in strengthening the muscles of the eyebrow area.
Close your eyes and gently place an index finger on each of the eyelids. Ensure that your elbows are stretched out while doing so. Apply a gentle pressure on the eyelids and hold for five seconds. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times a day. This exercise helps to tone the eyelid.
Place the index finger under each eyebrow, gently pressing against the brow bone. Slowly close your eyes and gently pull the eyelids together. Hold this position for about five seconds and relax. Repeat it 5 times a day. This helps strengthen the levators.
Place four fingers below each of the eyebrows and gently press against your brow bone. Hold for five seconds and gradually move your upper eyelids downwards. Hold it in this position for an additional 5 seconds and gradually release your eyelids. Repeat the exercise five times. This helps in lifting the upper eyelids.
How can sagging of the upper eyelids be prevented?
A research conducted in Netherlands and England suggested that higher BMI, lighter skin color, being male, and age increased the prevalence of saggy eyelids. Higher BMI leads to greater fat accumulation under the eyelids resulting in an increased gravitational pull on the eyelids. Sagging eyelids in people with lighter skin may be due to UV-induced damage to the skin. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and protecting the eye from UV rays by wearing sunglasses and sunscreens may prevent the occurrence of drooping eyelids to some extent.