Study Reveals More About Contacts and Droopy Lids
Scientists love to study identical twins. Since they have the same genetic code, each pair comes with a built in control group. When one twin differs from the other in a lifestyle factor like smoking, for instance, there’s great information to be gleaned by comparing the siblings over time.
Recently, a study of twins confirmed what many doctors already knew—wearing contact lenses tends to contribute to droopiness of the upper eyelids. Furthermore, the researchers found that twins who wore hard lenses had more severe ptosis (droopiness) than those who wore soft contacts.
Appearing in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the findings outlined differences in eyelid ptosis among 96 sets of identical twins. The scientists took other possible factors into consideration, such as smoking and sun exposure. Not only that, they eliminated twins who had slightly different brow positions as well as subjects who had a history of certain disorders or eye surgery—all with the goal of objectively determining the impact of contact lenses on the eyelids.
The authors of the study found that wearing contact lenses was the only factor that accounted for the difference in ptosis of the twin pairs in the study. No other factor could explain why one twin’s eyelids drooped more that those of the other twin.
What Does It All Mean to You?
If you’re a contact lens wearer and you notice signs of aging around your eyes, what do you need to know?
• Most likely you can have eyelid surgery
The researchers noted that when droopy eyelids are “acquired” – meaning unrelated to diseases, a congenital condition or other non-environmental factors – eyelid surgery can be an effective solution. Of course, you must choose an appropriately certified and experienced plastic surgeon, and be prepared to have an eye exam. Your doctors will want to make sure there’s no underlying problem contributing to saggy lids, so you’ll be answering lots of questions as well.
• Give your eyes a break after blepharoplasty
If you do elect eyelid surgery, your plastic surgeon will instruct you to refrain from wearing your contact lenses for several days to a couple of weeks after the procedure. This will ensure the skin heals properly.
• Treat your eyes gently
Whether you decide to have eyelid surgery or not, and in fact, whether you wear contacts or not, treat your eyelids and the area around your eyes as gently as possible. It’s still not clear exactly how wearing contact lenses contributes to sagging lids, but doctors suspect that pulling the skin during insertion and removal is a factor.
In our practice in New York, eyelid surgery is one of the procedures we enjoy thoroughly. It makes a dramatic difference in the appearance of both men and women with a relatively modest investment in terms of budget and recovery time. Contact us to find out more!