Premature ageing around the eyes and eye lids is partially determined by heredity – your genetics, and how your facial muscles and skin moves when you make repeated expressions. But sun exposure isn’t helpful. Find out the FOUR CAUSES of heavy eyelids. And watch our VIDEO about causes of heavy, puffy looking eyelids.
Causes of Heavy Eyelids leading to needing Upper Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
- If one of your parents had saggy, puffy or droopy eye lids, chances are that you will too.
- And if you’ve also had a lot of sun exposure, you’re eye lid area might have very-deeply etched lines and wrinkles, as well as droopy, heavy eyelids.
- Cosmetic injections can sometimes help to reduce the appearance of sagging eyelids or crow’s feet, but often, surgical intervention is required to reduce the excess skin folds that begin to cover the eye/iris area.
Why are eye lids the first to show ageing?
- Let’s face it – the skin over your eyelids gets a LOT of use.
- From blinking to squinting to facial expressions, you are using the muscles around your eyes hundreds of times a day, week in and week out, without ever thinking about the effects on your muscles and eyelid skin, over time.
- Plus, the eyelid skin is thinner than skin on other areas of your body and face.
- So eyelid skin is more vulnerable to early signs of ageing because of repeated use, its thinness, and genetic tendencies for heavier eyelids or sagging eyelid skin.
Causes of heavy eyelids and puffy eyes or eyebags: Our eyelid skin is typically a bit finer than skin on other areas of our face or bodies.
- Eventually, after decades of significant use, our eyelids will start to age.
- Sometimes it seems sudden, but it’s typically building up over time.
- It can look worse when we’re tired, dehydrated, stressed, sleep deprived or recovering after a big night of birthday celebrations.
Click on the PLAY button below to hear a short video about the four causes of heavy eyelids.
Considering upper eyelid surgery or lower eyelid surgery?
Download our Guide to Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) can be helpful to reduce sagging eyelid skin
- Eyelid surgery can also improve your vision when it becomes impacted by ptotic upper eyelid skin (drooping skin above the eye area).
- Some patients may also be eligible for a Medicare Rebate when they have eyelid surgery.
What happens to your eyes that makes them appear older – such as droopy eye lids, under eye bags, and undereye puffiness
- It’s not just the eye lid skin area, but the underling skeleton that ages as we grow older.
- The bones atrophy, meaning they become reduced; and the eye socket area widens or enlarges.
- This can cause the skin to appear even saggier than it would based on lost skin elasticity, alone.
Ptotic Eyelids: at what age does facial skin and eyelid skin start to become crepey, sag or droop?
- Ageing of the skin – including your eyelids – is variable from person to person.
- Some people even experience sagging of their upper eyelids – or show under-eye bags – early in life.
- For others, genetic traits mean they have a double eyelid (e.g., Asian heritage) or very heavy eyelids.
Eyelid Sagging and Crow’s Feet Wrinkles: Treatment options
What’s happening underneath the skin is that the muscles around your eyes become weaker, the expression-lines become deeper, and fine lines & wrinkles start to appear.
- In most people, these changes to the muscles, fat and skin areas around the eye are usually the first real signs of ageing.
- Some of the wrinkles and lines can be treated temporarily using cosmetic injections.
- Eyelid bags and under eye shadows or ‘eye bags’ can be treated with dermal fillers in the tear trough area, fat redistribution, a canthoplasty or lower blepharoplasty (or a combination of procedures).
- Upper eyelid skin that suffers from ptosis can be treated with eyelid surgery of the upper lid, known as the Upper Blepharoplasty. Download the eyelid surgery guide today.
These eye area changes may detract from the natural beauty of your eyes and face — but can be remedied with the right treatment approaches.
- Not only can all changes to your eyes make you look prematurely older.
- But these eye area changes can certainly make your eyelids feel very heavy or leave you looking sad and tired.
Further details of factors contributing to ageing eyes and eye area wrinkles are listed further down this page.
Blepharoplasty can help reduce the signs of ageing around your eyes and eyelids – but is surgery the answer?
If you have saggy or droopy lids, perhaps upper or lower eyelid surgery (or blepharoplasty) can help.
Find out if you’re a good candidate for eyelid surgery by phoning us on (03) 8849 1444 and asking to see one of our eyelid surgery experts such as Dr Benjamin Burt, an Oculoplastic Specialist Surgeon with a practice dedicated to eyelid surgery and brow rejuvenation.
And you don’t have to wait until your eyelids are extremely saggy before asking for a surgery consult.
We see younger patients who are wanting a more open-eyed appearance or who have prematurely ageing eyelids (or eyelid puffiness). Plus, the earlier you have eyelid surgery, the quicker your likely recovery AND the longer you’ll get to enjoy your results.
How do you fix saggy, droopy puffy eyelids?
- Fortunately – there are surgical, non-surgical and combined eyelid treatments to help rejuvenate your eyes and eyelid area.
- As above, there is eyelid reduction surgery, fat redistribution, canthoplasty, cosmetic injections to crow’s feet lines and wrinkles or to the temple and brow area, and more.
- A good injector and surgeon can work wonders in rejuvenating the upper area of the face – so, too, can a facelift or cosmetic liquid facelift injecting clinician.
Is Eyelid Surgery only for people over fifty years in age?
- The eyes are SUCH a key focal point of appearance, many people of younger ages are also taking advantage of the fantastic aesthetic outcomes of eyelid surgery.
- But the average time people choose a blepharoplasty ranges between the 40s and the 70s.
- There’s no upper limit if the patient is healthy and prepared to undergo the procedure after being well informed of potential surgery risks.
- An Upper Blepharoplasty can sometimes be done in clinic or upper and lower, or lower eyelid surgery, is often performed in a private Hospital in Melbourne.
Example of Blepharoplasty Before & Afters to refresh the eye appearance (Upper Eyelid Lift)
In the example show above, a young Upper Blepharoplasty patient, treated by Dr Benjamin Burt, wanted a more refreshed, rejuvenated eye appearance and an improved eyelid platform.
Another patient who had eyelid surgery at our Clinic in Melbourne is Amea May. She documented her experience in Video clips, after noticing a gap in recovery time & healing information about eyelid surgery.
Want to find out what can be done to treat YOUR sagging eyelids or eyelid area wrinkles?
Phone us on (03) 8849 1444 today.
Or send a confidential enquiry form, below, and visit our Surgeons pages including Oculoplastic Surgeon & Eyelid Lift Expert, Dr Benjamin Burt’s Bio page, for more information.
Visit our Downloadable Guides pages
For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.
Download our free guides or phone (03) 8849 1444 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.
FREE EVENT – Plastic Surgery & Skin Treatments – Patient Information Evening Event. Drinks & Nibbles provided. Where: Hawthorn Clinic location. Registration Required. Visit our EVENTS pages for more info.
Ageing Eyes: Noticeable changes that occur around your eyelids and eyes as you age
Video: Four key causes of ‘heavy eyes’ or puffy eyelids
Heavy Eyelid Cause #1: Loss of Skin Elasticity
Around your late 30’s — and earlier if you have had a lot of sun damage, eye area injuries or squinting — the thin skin of your eyelids can start to lose its elasticity and begins to stretch.
- This results in excess folds of eyelid skin
- This excess skin may hang down over the edge of the upper eyelids and cover up part of your eye and pupil area.
Heavy Eyelid Cause #2: Upper Eyelid Ptosis & Loss of Peripheral Vision
- You may feel an extra heaviness in the upper lid or notice your skin actually sitting on your eye lashes.
- You may also be experiencing a minor loss of vision – especially your peripheral vision.
Heavy Eyelids Cause #3: Weaker Muscles Around The Eyes Can Cause Eye Bags
As you get older, the muscles beneath your skin grow weaker.
- This allows small amounts of fat to protrude through the thin skin
- It causes eye bags and eyelid puffiness, particularly in the lower eyelid area
Heavy Eyelids Cause #4: A Weak Levator Muscle can cause eye lid floppiness.
A droopy upper eyelid may be caused by a weak levator muscle, the muscle which lifts the upper eyelids.
- Fine wrinkle lines and small wrinkly creases may appear in the delicate skin around the lids when levator muscles weaken.
- The result is a sleepy, tired or sad look around your eyes, but the appearance of the eyes impacts your entire face.
Eye Lid Surgery Can Help – ask us about various eyelid surgery and Blepharoplasty options.
A blepharoplasty procedure can correct droopy upper eyelids and puffy bags below your eyes by removing a small but precise amount of excess fat, skin and muscle.
- This can help you restore your more youthful appearance with minimal cost, risk and recovery time.
- Due to its benefits, many people choose a blepharoplasty over a complete rejuvenation facelift to start with, as it typically has lower healing and recovery time.
Some patients choose both procedures.
Some patients would first have an eyelid lift followed by a facelift, or both procedures at once MIGHT be possible if the patient is a suitable candidate.
The Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery Procedure
- A full consultation and physical examination must be conducted to determine what is causing your eyelid concerns.
- If there’s a functional problem with your eyelid, then the medical term for your procedure is called a ptosis repair of the eyelid.
- These surgeries MAY sometimes be covered by insurance or medicare rebates, as they impact your vision and ability to blink properly or fully close your eye.
If the issues of facial ageing include a sagging upper brow, then corrective brow surgery may be used to elevate the position of the brow, with or without surgery of the upper lid. The brow elevation procedure is known as a Brow Lift.
Please note that not all eyelid ptosis (drooping) can be corrected by a blepharoplasty. Your Surgeon will assess your eyelids and be able to help you determine what a specific procedure can do to help you reach your eyelid appearance or rejuvenation goals.
Your Blepharoplasty may be performed in our minor procedure room (Upper Eyelids only) or an Accredited Hospital (for both eyelids or lower eyelids only).
Eyelid Recovery Surgery
- Eyelid surgery is a minor but complex procedure.
- You may need a week or two to initially recover, so consult your surgeon for an estimate of how much “social downtime” you will need.
- Normally, you should be able to return to daily activities within 7 to 10 days but sometimes swelling or bruising occurs, which can last up to 2 to 3 weeks.
- The scar can take some time to heal.
After surgery, you may experience some post eyelid surgery swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes and discomfort, which are controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointments.
Eyelid surgery is described in our guide.
Caution: Eye lid Surgery Requires an Experienced Surgeon
- Blepharoplasty is a meticulous and detailed operation, requiring the skill and experience of a greatly experienced plastic or oculoplastic surgeon.
- To remove the precise amount in the right spot is truly an Art.
- Remove too much eyelid skin during upper eyelid surgery, and your eyes won’t close properly.
- Too little, and you’ll still have sagging and experience a tired, worn or angry appearance.
- It is also critical to remove the excess in exactly the right location — or you’ll end up looking very strange.
At our practice we find that using a ‘Less is More’ or conservative approach to surgery is best.
Our Surgeon’s focus on a very natural-looking aesthetically-pleasing result, and are diligent at preventing you from having a startled appearance.
Scars after Surgery on your Eyelids
All surgery leaves some scars and our surgeon’s expertise is demonstrated when minimising your final scars – this can sometimes be helped by hiding the incision in the natural creases of your eyelid. You can see the scars in some of the blepharoplasty video footage filmed by AMEA May.
Blepharoplasty surgery is becoming more popular.
- Because of it’s relatively low down time and significantly rejuvenating effects, eyelid surgery is very popular.
- Recently released 2015 USA plastic surgery statistics from the USA show eyelid surgery being the fifth most popular cosmetic surgery with 139,000 women and 30,700 men having the procedure.
- In Australia, like most Western Countries, our population continues to age so more and more blepharoplasty operations are being performed each year.
The role of dermal fillers and anti wrinkle injections
- Dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections can also play a role in looking more youthful and preventing the early signs of ageing.
- A word of caution, fillers can be useful in replacing lost facial volume, but may be of little help in reducing the effects of excess skin, skin laxity and weaker muscles.
- For some patients where filler and injections are becoming ineffective, eyelid surgery may be required.
- There are also some less invasive techniques including laser blepharoplasty that may help.
Our practice offers the full range of non-surgical and surgical solutions for ageing face. Visit Coco Ruby for information on cosmetic injections and tear trough fillers.
Our Eyelid Surgery Expert – Dr Benjamin Burt
Dr Benjamin Burt is an Oculoplastic Surgeon and our team’s expert on treatments for Ageing Eyes. He can advise you on the best solution for your heavy eyes, including non-surgical options as well as surgical options for upper and lower eyelid procedures.
Dr Burt has dedicated his career to Blepharoplasty procedures having trained with experts around the world. He is also an Opthamologist and has performed thousands of eye operations.
Send an enquiry form to arrange a consultation with Dr Burt to discuss your eyelid rejuvenation needs.
Combined Facial and Eyelid Procedures
Our group plastic surgeons practice also has several other blepharoplasty experts, as some patients choose to have a blepharoplasty while undergoing another face or body rejuvenation surgery.
Our Facial Surgeons who also perform Blepharoplasty procedures include Dr Benjamin Burt, Dr Richard Sackelariou, Dr Geoff Barnett & Our Team of Surgeons.
- For more information, visit our Ageing Eye Treatment pages or fill in the confidential contact form.
- Our Patient Care Coordinators are happy to help answer your questions or to arrange a consultation for you with one of our leading Eyelid Lift or Facial Surgeons.