It is not uncommon for patients to notice lesions (bumps or growths) on their eyelids or near their eyes. In most cases these bumps are benign (skin tags or cysts) but some can be malignant or even cancerous. Any lesion that has changed in size, shape, or color over time is considered suspicious. If you or your doctor observe any of these changes, or if the lesion is irritating to you, it can be removed. This procedure is done in office with a local injected anesthetic. After removal, the lesion is sent to a lab to be examined for cancerous properties.
A stye occurs when the glands along our eyelids become plugged. The oily tears that are normally secreted onto the surface of the eye thicken and become hard, often forming a bump on the eyelid. When a stye is caught early on, most of them can be treated with warm compresses and an antibiotic ointment. If a stye is not treated right away it may become inflamed and tender due to an infection of the gland. If it persists after at-home treatment, it can be surgically drained and removed. Often an oral antibiotic will be prescribed before and after the procedure to prevent or treat any infection in the area.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)
With age, many patients may notice changes in the appearance of their eyelids. They may feel like there is extra skin on their eyelids or that the lids are starting to droop. This condition, caused by the loss of elasticity in the tissues of the eyelid, is called dermatochalasis. Common symptoms include loss of side vision and frontal headaches from raising the eyebrows to improve vision. Once the eyelids start to disrupt a patient’s vision, surgery is no longer considered a “cosmetic” procedure and can be submitted to your medical insurance for coverage. Several tests and measurements will be done in office and photos will be taken to submit to the insurance company before the procedure is done. During the procedure, extra skin and fat on the eyelid are removed. Patients will have sutures in their eyelids for about a week before coming into the office to get them removed. You can expect some swelling and possible bruising for the first few weeks after surgery.
To see the difference this procedure makes, please check out our Before and After.
Another problem patients may face is having their eyelids turn in or out. This can cause extreme discomfort for the patient and, in severe cases, can threaten their vision.
Entropion, or eyelids turning in, can cause one’s eyelashes to come in contact with the surface of their eyes. When the lashes rub on the eye, it is very uncomfortable and often painful. Repeated rubbing on the cornea can eventually lead to scarring or breakdown of the corneal tissue, which can reduce your vision. Lubricating eye drops and ointment can be used for minor relief but surgery is required in many cases to re-position the lid.
Ectropion, or eyelids turning out, can lead to exposure of the ocular surface. In a healthy eye, the eyelids are pressed tight up against the eye. When you blink, they spread tears across the front of your eye and those tears drain out through a small opening in the corner of your eyelid. When the eyelid is not held tight against the eye the tears are not being spread out evenly and can evaporate, leading to dryness, irritation and redness. In other cases, people may have excessive tearing due to the fact the eyelid is not holding the tears on the front surface of the eye and they are not able to drain properly. Advanced ectropion can lead to the breakdown of the cornea if it is not treated. Patients may find some relief from lubricating drops and ointments, but surgery is the only permanent fix.