No matter where you go or what you do, people will be looking at your eyes. The eyes connect us to others during conversation, they convey emotions, and they impact appearance dramatically.
Your eyes can also easily give away your age and cause you to look tired, and in some cases, grumpy. In this article, you'll learn about the best ways to fix puffy or droopy eyes, and restore your bright-eyed appearance.
Droopy, Puffy, and Tired Eyes
There are a lot of potential causes for that tired look around your eyes. True, aging does bring sagging skin and volume loss around the eyes, giving a sunken, tired look. But even young patients can suffer from puffy eyes and dark circles.
Besides aging, tired eyes can be caused by stress, sleep deprivation, allergies, smoking, and heredity. Puffy eyes can even be attributed to fluid retention due to hormones, medications, and environmental factors.
Let's take a look at each of the physical changes that lead to the appearance of tired or puffy eyes:
1. Sagging Skin:
As we age, our skin loses its elasticity. This can result in excess skin of the upper eyelid or the lower eyelid.
In the upper eyelid, the excess skin begins to hang over the upper eyelashes resulting in the appearance of tired or droopy eyes. This is a very common condition called "pseudoptosis" or "dermatochalasis."
In the lower eyelid, the excess skin begins to sag and contributes to the appearance of wrinkles, creases, and folds.
2. Volume Changes:
As we get older, our tissues atrophy, resulting in loss of both volume and soft tissue support around the eyes.
The loss of volume manifests itself as hollows around the upper eyes (eyebrow region) and lower eyes (tear trough and upper cheek).
The loss of soft tissue support results in the protrusion of fat bags under the eyes ("eyebags") and sometimes over the eyes. It also can lead to rounding of the eye and loss of lower eyelid tone.
3. Dark Circles:
Dark circles under the eyes are a common problem. They are typically caused by one or more factors including darkening of the skin (overactive pigment cells), thinning of the skin (leading to increased visibility of capillary blood through the skin), and increased shadows of the lower eyes due to contour irregularities arising from sagging skin, hollow tear troughs and sunken cheeks, and protruding fat bags.
4. Droopy Eyelids:
The condition of drooping eyelids is known as ptosis. This condition commonly develops with age. Often one or both of your upper eyelids will droop either slightly or completely over the pupil. This not only causes you to look older and sleepy, but it can negatively impact eyesight as well.
Fixing Droopy, Puffy, or Tired Eyes
Before jumping right to a surgical solution, consider all of the underlying factors. You may find that the best way to proceed is with a lifestyle change.
To get rid of bags under your eyes, a doctor may recommend that you get more sleep or alter your sleeping position (to elevate the position of your head, for example). An evaluation of your allergies, medications, and general health may also be recommended. However, once natural lifestyle changes are exhausted, the most effective and permanent solution for eye bags and/or droopy eyelids is often surgery.
Surgical procedures include:
Eyelid surgery, or an eyelid lift, is often the best way to correct droopy eyelids. Your surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat from the upper eyelids, which brightens the eyes and brings back a smooth, youthful quality. True ptosis of the eyelids can be also be repaired to lift droopy eyelids.
Conventional lower eyelid surgery involves the addition, removal, or repositioning of fat, skin, and support tissues. Lower eyelid surgery incisions may be made inside the eyelid and/or just underneath the lower eyelashes. The anatomy of your eye and skin laxity are important factors in qualifying you for this procedure.
A surgical cheek lift, with or without fat restoration, may also be suggested for patients whose eye bags are caused by cheek descent associated with aging.
Non-surgical options include:
Non-surgical treatments work by adding volume to correct under eye unevenness or smooth the transition from under eye to upper cheek. This is often the best solution for treating dark circles - by removing existing hollows under the eyes.
In addition to injecting fat, Restylane, an injectable filler made of hyaluronic acid, is often recommended to improve dark circles or drooping eyelids.
Finally, skin resurfacing procedures such as laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and prescription topicals can help restore lower eyelid skin tone and/or reduce darkening.
Ready to Fix Your Eyes?
There are many varieties and combinations of possible treatments to help with droopy or tired eyes. Don't make the mistake of chasing a certain treatment, which may or may not be the best solution for your condition. Instead, find a plastic surgeon that is skilled and experienced in both surgical and non-surgical procedures. This will help them understand your condition and create a personalized treatment plan based on the best procedures to meet your goals.
If you're in the San Francisco area, you can get a free consultation with Dr. Fan by clicking here. Otherwise, you can take our online self-assessment quiz to see if you're a good candidate for cosmetic treatments.