The way our eyelids change as we age is complex – as we enter older life, the elastic fibre which surrounds the skin’s tissue decreases, causing an aged, sagging or tired appearance which many of us are not too fond of. With advancements in technology and the growing popularity of cosmetic procedures, it is now easier than ever before to fix age-related eye concerns.
All of these procedures are easily carried out and do not take a significant amount of time to heal – Dr Ezra outlines the options and the key points to consider.
The surface between the lower eyelid and the upper cheek is known as the ‘tear trough’ and, as we age, this is an area which becomes increasingly worn, with the arrival of dark circles which are often impossible to ignore.
Nobody wants to look as if they haven’t slept a wink, which is why an increasingly sought-after cosmetic treatment is the tear trough filler; a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment for weary eyes.
During this quick, painless procedure, a hyaluronic treatment is gently injected into the tear trough area, smoothing out the ‘hollows’ which are present and creating a fresh, revitalised look which is noticeable almost immediately afterwards.
The advantage of this procedure is that it requires no surgical intervention and only minimal swelling normally occurs. However, results are not everlasting, which means top up treatments are required every 1-2 years to maintain the desired effect.
Forehead creases and the drooping of the eyebrows are a common issue, not just amongst older people, but in a lot of younger patients too. In order to rejuvenate the forehead and eyebrow area, many people choose to undergo what’s commonly known as a ‘brow lift’ – another non-surgical treatment option to improve visual aesthetics.
Normally, this involves using a combination of botulinum toxin (Botox) injections to relax the muscles and stop deeper lines from forming, along with surgical thread, which is used to lift the skin into its new position. The threading is biodegradable and will naturally absorb into the skin without the need for further treatment to remove the sutures.
While the brow lift procedure is very popular, the effects of the Botox injections are not long-term, and most people will require refills every 3-4 months to maintain a youthful appearance. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the commitment.
Blepharoplasty, also referred to as eyelid reduction, is one of the most common cosmetic eye procedures amongst both men and women in the UK. It involves removing excess skin, fat and muscle from the eye areas, and then repositioning where necessary, getting rid of “droopy” eyelids and achieving a younger looking complexion.
A blepharoplasty can either be performed on the upper eyelids, to improve vision and look more youthful; or on the lower eyelids to help reduce wrinkling and puffiness brought about through old age. It is possible to carry out both procedures together, under local or general anaesthetic.
Most patients are happy with the results of their blepharoplasty, reporting more youthful appearances and an increase in self-confidence. However, it’s worth noting that the procedure is slightly more invasive than the previous treatments, with a longer recovery period (between 1-4 weeks depending on type of surgery), whilst scars from the incisions could take several months to fade.
Choosing to undergo any medical or cosmetic procedure is a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you feel that an aesthetic treatment will significantly improve your physical appearance and result in a happier and more confident you, then the first step is a consultation with your doctor to discuss whether a procedure is feasible, based on your health and medical history.
Once you’ve been given the all-clear, it’s wise to do some thorough research beforehand, making sure you find a doctor that you trust. Once you’ve found the right consultant they should go through all the steps with you, helping you weigh the benefits and risks so that you can come to an informed decision.
Most importantly, be sure to only ever receive treatment from medically trained professionals who hold the right qualifications and experience to carry out such procedures.
Dr Daniel Ezra is a specialist eye surgeon based in London, working for the NHS and privately at the Moorfields Eye Hospital and Harley Street.