Aging Eyes: Two Ways to Revive Them

Aging eyes provide the fuel for frustration. We all know we will age. However, when the signs of aging change the way we look, we don’t have to like it. The changes around the eyes are particularly concerning because they don’t just make us look older, they change the expression of the face. We may look angry when we’re not. What’s worse is that we have no way to change this through normal facial expression. It all comes down to the heaviness of the eyelids and the tilt of the eyebrows.

As the concept of plastic surgery has become more widely accepted, people who are concerned about the condition of the skin on their eyelids and around their eyes are more likely to at least explore their options for addressing their concerns. Exploration often goes no further than learning what an “eyelid lift” is. This is because we assume that sad or angry-looking eyes must stem from the eyelids themselves. This isn’t so, which is why patients need to be informed about the differences between blepharoplasty and brow lift surgery.


Blepharoplasty is the term that describes an eyelid lift. The procedure can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids. In this instance, we are focusing on upper blepharoplasty. This technique is performed through a small incision in the upper eyelid, where it is hidden within the natural crease. The surgeon repositions and removes fat tissue as needed to smooth out the eyelid. Muscle tissue is manipulated along with the overlying skin. This restores the natural crease of the upper lid, which may have been hidden by loose, saggy tissue.

Brow Lift Surgery

A brow lift focuses on the position of the eyebrows. This facial feature should run along the upper orbital rim, the bony contour above the eyelid. Sometimes, the upper eyelids look heavy and saggy because the muscles that keep the eyebrows at their natural height have begun to slope downward. This pulls the overlying skin down and creates pressure on the upper eyelids. A drooping brow line can also result in a deep crease at the outer edge of one or both eyes.

Help for the Aging Face

To help explain the difference between upper blepharoplasty and a brow lift, we use the analogy of a long, dragging pair of pants. If the pants drag on the floor because they are too long, they need to be trimmed. This is much like blepharoplasty. If the pants drag on the floor because the belt is too loose to hold them up, the belt needs to be tightened. This is what a brow lift does to the muscles over the eyes.

Whatever the cause, the eyelids or the brow line, aging eyes can be an ongoing problem. To discover how eyelid rejuvenation can give you back the friendly face you once had, schedule a visit to our Bryn Mawr office at 610.527.4833.

Posted in: Eyelid Surgery

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