Harvard Health Letter

The popular fix for droopy eyes

When is surgery warranted?

Droopy upper and lower eyelids change more than just your appearance; they can block your peripheral vision. The fix is blepharoplasty, a procedure that's now one of the most popular facial plastic surgeries in the United States. "I see it every day in my practice. It's one of the most common procedures I do," says Dr. Suzanne Freitag, director of ophthalmic plastic surgery service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. But how do you know when surgery is right for you?

Blepharoplasty

Before After

Blepharoplasty

Photos courtesy of Dr. Suzanne Freitag

The problem

The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body, and it's always in motion. The eyelids stretch with age, causing lax, droopy skin. In addition, puffiness may result from eye socket fat falling forward with age. This excess skin in the upper eyelids and "bags" in the lower eyelids may interfere with your vision. "Some patients have skin so droopy it hangs over the top eyelashes and they can't open their eyes. They want relief," says Dr. Freitag. Other people want to regain a more youthful appearance.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »