Eyelid retraction occurs when the upper or lower eyelid is pulled away from the eye, exposing more of the white of the eyes, also known as scleral show. The eye can appear rounded and not almond shape. The condition may be the result of genetics, but many people develop upper or lower eyelid retraction as a result of trauma, thyroid disease, or abnormal scarring following a previous eye procedure.
At Taban MD in Los Angeles, our expert oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Taban, specializes in accurately diagnosing and treating lid malposition conditions, such as lid retraction. To learn more and receive exceptional treatment, do not wait to contact us at 310-499-2565.
What Causes Retraction of the Eyelid?
Retraction of the upper lid is most commonly caused by thyroid disease, which pushed the eye forward in the socket, making it more difficult for the eyelids to properly cover and protect the eye. Retraction of the lower lid most often occurs as a result of scar tissue that tightens the eyelid and pulls it away from the eyeball. Upper eyelid retraction gives the eye a “startled look” appearance.
Over time, a retracted eyelid can result in pain, redness, irritation, and even damage to the cornea, which may cause vision loss. In addition, lower eyelid retraction gives the eye a rounded appearance (opposite almond eye shape).
Treatments for Retracted Lids
First and foremost, it is important to make sure that the eye is well moisturized to prevent discomfort or injury. However, the most reliable and permanent solution is invariably surgery. The type of surgery will depend on the type and severity of the lid retraction.
Upper Eyelid Retraction Surgery – Whether as a result of an overactive thyroid, genetics, or injury, a retracted upper lid can be repositioned by loosening the retractor muscles (responsible for lifting the upper eyelid), thereby lowering the upper eyelid. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic, which allows the patient to assist the surgeon in achieve the best aesthetic outcome as well as comfortable position of the eyelids. Depending on the patient, a blepharoplasty may be performed as well to remove excess fat and skin folds.
Lower Eyelid Retraction Surgery – Retracted sagging lower lids can be repaired by surgically elevating the lower eyelids, using hidden transconjunctival incision (inside the lower eyelid), to release eyelid retractors (and scar tissue) along with possible midface lift and/or spacer graft. The outer corner of the eye (canthus) may also be tightened to help support the lower eyelid horizontally (called canthoplasty). These procedures can result in more attractive “almond shape” eyes.
Schedule an Eye Exam for Retracted Eyelids Today
To learn more about eyelid malposition and appropriate treatments, please do not wait to contact oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban and schedule an initial consultation in our Beverly Hills or Santa Barbara offices in the greater Los Angeles area. We can come up with the best treatment option for you. Call us now!
Next, read Making the Choice Between Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty