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How to lift drooping eyelids and improve your vision and youthfulness

Drooping eyelids can interfere with your vision as well as making you look older than you are. You can have your drooping eyelids lifted, which will help you to improve your vision regarding your visual field and also regain your youthfulness. Let me explain. 

When you are looking out at the world, you have what is called the field of vision. It is called the binocular field of vision if you have two good seeing eyes. They overlap slightly in the middle.

Try this and see what I mean: Start with both eyes closed, open one eye and you will see that you can see a little bit across to the right if it is your left eye that is open, and a lot across to the left. Then close your left eye and open your right eye next.

You will see that you can see a little bit across to the left and a lot over to the right and then open both eyes and you will notice that the central part of the visual field towards the nose overlaps between the two eyes. You will also see that if you hold your fingers up and you are looking straight ahead, and you bring your fingers wriggling down into your upper visual field there will come the point where you can see them very clearly. That is called your superior visual field or upper visual field.

Normally we have about 40-60 degrees of upper visual field. We have a much broader horizontal visual field, which can easily be 110 or 120 degrees. If your upper visual field, i.e. the part above your fixation drops down to 20% or less than that, that means that you have a significant defect in your binocular field of vision and this can affect your ability to drive safely and legally. 

One of the things that many patients tell me after they have had their drooping eyelid surgery is how well they can see afterwards because I have opened up their upper field of vision. They notice that surgery has markedly opened up their vision and they can see much better and often they had not realised how much their upper eyelids were interfering with visual function. So, not only do they look more youthful after their eyelid surgery, but they also see much better.

You may often think of upper eyelid surgery called blepharoplasty and ptosis surgery as being a bit whimsical as people sometimes consider it a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure. However, in a lot of people – as they age – it is not just cosmetic. It is medical, meaning that there is a functional reason and a practical benefit that can you can achieve by having your upper eyelids lifted. This will improve your vision and not just enhance your youthfulness cosmetically.

I will give you the example of a lady I operated on recently. She came to see me because she had met an ophthalmologist who had noticed that she had very hooded upper eyelids, mainly lateral hooding. She had small curtains of eyelids dropping over her vision, and she was looking exhausted. She probably was not seeing out very well, and she did not look very young. I do not want to say that she looked old, but she seemed older than she certainly felt or should have been. 

She told me that she would never have come to see me as an oculoplastic surgeon if it had not been for her ophthalmology friend who said to her that she would see a lot better if she came and had eyelid surgery with me. The patient thought that she would be silly to go and see an eyelid doctor for her eyelids as she felt that this was a cosmetic operation. She had not realised how much lifting the eyelids would open up her vision and allow her to see a lot better, particularly in the upper field. After her eyelid surgery, she not only looked younger and less tired, but she could see much better.

I will give you some examples of where upper field vision is essential

If you are walking around a city, you want to be able to see above the first floor of buildings without having to tilt your head right back.

If you are in the countryside, you want to be able to see up into the trees and even up into the sky – if you have lateral hooding you will find that your upper outer visual field gets encroached upon by your eyelids. Hooded eyelids mean you may not see people, buses, cars coming up on the side of your vision, which I am sure you will agree could be potentially dangerous.

I have already mentioned driving. Although you can lift your eyebrows to try and lift up the skin when you are not raising your eyebrows, and you have drooping eyelids you may not meet the driving standards by the DVLA. 

So think about it again. If you want to lift your drooping eyelids and improve your vision and your youthfulness you should consider having blepharoplasty and ptosis surgery, depending what your exact eyelid problem is. I look forward to meeting you at Clinica London.

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