At family gatherings, a common topic amongst my aunties and uncles would be their eyes. How they are getting long-sighted, their eyes are getting smaller, the extra loose eyelid skin, wrinkles around the eyes… The eyes are unarguably one of the first victims of aging.
I had ptosis, or droopy eyelids, which made my eyes smaller and unequal in size, and could relate to some of their complaints. I wrote in a previous post on how I wished I had the ptosis correction surgery done earlier and how it was life-changing for me.
Why It Happens
Ptosis: Levator palpebrae superioris is the muscle that lift the eyelid and open our eyes. Like me, you can be born with droopy eyes if there is a defect in these muscles (also known as congenital ptosis. More commonly, ptosis is a result of wear and tear of these muscles that work hard day and night. Ptosis develops as the muscle weakens with age, leading to droopy eyelids, medically known as senile ptosis.
Hooded Eyes: As we get older, another cause for shrinking eyes is hooding, where the eyelid skin gets looser and may drape over the eyes. The size of the eye remains the same, but because the eyes are hooded by the loose skin, they appear smaller.
Why Is It Considered A Medical Problem
Drooping eyelids make you look older, tired and even angry, giving others a false impression of your personality and mood. Ptosis sufferers fight to open their eyes by raising their brows, leading to deep forehead wrinkles.
- Eye strain and headaches
- Vision partially obstructed by eyelids and affecting daily activities like driving
- Head tilting to neck and shoulder aches
- Some suffer from ptosis when looking down which impairs reading
Naturally, ptosis correction is considered a medically necessary surgery and the cost covered by most insurance schemes and Medisave.
According to Dr Chia Hui Ling, Consultant Plastic Surgeon from SW1 Clinic, the corrective surgery involves tightening and repairing the eyelid levator muscles. Similar to an upper blepharoplasty (upper eyelid surgery), the incision is made at the double eyelid crease. The surgery is also multi-tasked to create a defined double eyelid, to remove hooded eyelid skin and to defat puffy eyelids. “Eye beautification is an important consideration and a bonus for those considering ptosis correction surgery” added Dr Chia.
Ptosis surgery is done under local anesthesia, with or without light sedation. It takes about 2 hours. After ptosis correction, swelling and bruising lasts for 1 to 2 weeks. Mild eyelid puffiness may last for a month, before seeing the final results in 3 to 6 months.
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