Sagging Eyelids – Not Just a Cosmetic Concern

Certain behaviors in our control can help with sagging eyelids.

Sagging Eyelids – Not Just a Cosmetic Concern Sagging eyelids because of excess skin (called dermatochalasis) is typically seen in middle-age or older adults. Typically a cosmetic concern, sagging eyelids also can cause visual field loss, irritation and headaches because patients force themselves to elevate their brow in order to see better. Other than aging, risk factors for sagging eyelids include being a man, having lighter skin color and having a higher body mass index (BMI). In a JAMA study, author Leonie C. Jacobs, M.D., Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues studied two population-based groups: 5,578 unrelated participants of North European ancestry (‰ÛÏDutch Europeans‰Û) (average age 67 years) and 2,186 twins (average age 53 years). Among the group of Dutch Europeans, 17.8 percent had moderate to severe sagging eyelids. Risk factors for sagging eyelids included age, being male, having lighter skin color and a higher BMI. Current smoking also may have some association. Among the twin pairs, heritability of sagging eyelids was estimated at about 61 percent. We have no control over our age, sex or skin tone but we do over our BMI and smoking.