An Ounce of Prevention: or, how to keep out of Dr. Cannon’s office
Perhaps you’re very proactive about caring for your eyes, but how often do you care for your eyelids? Maybe you think, “Oh, that’s not really a part of my eye.” However, your lids serve as the guardians, protectors of the eye. They absolutely deserve royal treatment.
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest in your entire body. It starts out thin, and it thins quickly. Gravity is relentless, and over time your eyelids begin to stretch out. Droopy lids can communicate that you feel tired. You may not actually feel tired, but that’s what your eyelids are saying. More seriously, sagging eyelids can block vision. If your lids interfere with your eyesight, it’s a medical problem.
So what are ways to slow this process? How can you take good care of your eyelids now? Here are a few simple preventive measures to help save your lids:
- DO wear sunscreen. UV damage happens fast. It only takes minutes. As you approach summer, remember that the cumulative effects of unprotected sun exposure are really serious. Put sunscreen in your makeup, wear a hat.
- DO be gentle while putting in your contact lenses. Constant pulling and manipulating of the lid skin can cause problems later. Be careful when inserting and removing your contacts, don’t yank on your lids. Save that delicate skin!
- DON’T smoke. Smoking is horrible for the skin of your eyelids. The oxidative damage from smoking chips away at the collagen beneath your skin and speeds up the skin-thinning process even more.
- DON’T rub your eyes. This is a tough one, especially if you have allergies. Be aware that constant rubbing, itching, pulling will cause the skin to stretch and sag. If your eyes itch, talk to your doctor about eye drops (allergy drops or artificial tears).
Of course, sometimes these preventive measures aren’t enough, and sometimes your eyelids need expert care. Dr. Sterling Cannon, West Georgia Eye Care Center’s own oculoplastic surgeon, is happy to help you (and your lids!). Because it matters who you see.