Our eyes are integral to all of our interpersonal communication. They emote. They speak of our character and, what they “say” is interpreted by others to discern how much we can be trusted and liked. We all know that the eyes are a part of the body that will age. However, when they show more age than we feel, it may be advantageous to take corrective measures. Doing so can do one thing for us that may be more important than all else, it can restore our sense of confidence and satisfaction with our appearance. Here, we discuss some of the ways in which the eyes may age and how to correct them.
When we squint, whether at the sun or at a computer screen, or when we frown, vertical lines form between the eyebrows. Over time, these lines, called glabellar lines, become etched permanently in the skin. One of the easiest ways to eliminate them is with injections of an FDA-approved neuromodulator. The first one of its kind was Botox, which is also the most well-known. More recently, doctors began using Jeuveau and Dysport as alternatives to Botox. The base ingredient is the same so patients should be aware of their risk of allergic reaction to the botulinum toxin. Generally, most patients can receive treatment without complication. Within about a week of treatment, glabellar lines disappear and remain softened for three to six months.
Dark hollows under the eyes are not an age-related problem. We often see younger patients who complain of looking much older than their age due to these dark shadows. Sometimes, hollows are simply a sign that one needs more sleep. However, persistent shadowing under the eyes may indicate a genetic predisposition. The problem may worsen as collagen production slows down with age. In many cases, eye hollows can be diminished or disguised completely using dermal fillers. Treatment works by increasing the volume in the tissue under the eyes. To do this, the doctor injects a soft dermal filler into what is called the tear trough. This is the crescent-shaped line that runs horizontally under the eye. The tear trough is a transition area between the upper cheek and the lower eyelid. Increasing volume here changes the way that light reflects off the skin beneath the eye. The results of undereye dermal filler treatment can last up to two years depending on which product the doctor finds most appropriate.
With age and the loss of collagen, we nearly always see some degree of brow descent. The brows may also be pulled down by overactive, overly tensed muscles. When the brow droops lower on the forehead, tissue on the upper eyelid can look heavier and saggier, too. This can create some confusion about the real problem. Is the brow positioned too low or are the upper eyelids too heavy and saggy? Sometimes, the answer is both. Naturally, the eyebrows should rest along the upper orbital rim, the bone that sits over the eyes. A doctor can determine if a brow lift would be beneficial by evaluating the position of the brows in relation to this bone. A separate evaluation of the tissue on the upper eyelid can determine if an eyelid lift would be beneficial or necessary. Sagging brows and heavy upper eyelids may both be improved using Botox, Dysport, or Jeuveau. These neuromodulators lift the brow by releasing the downward pull on them. If the upper eyelids are loose and saggy independent of brow position, blepharoplasty surgery may be the best solution. Additionally, for patients who want longer-lasting results, a low brow can be lifted via brow lift surgery.
We know the eye area will age. The questions are how, how much, and what can we do to continue feeling our best. To feel your best, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Contact our Campbell, CA office near San Jose at (408) 559-4700 for your consultation.