Common home remedies for sagging eyelids include practicing eyelid exercises or placing cucumber slices and dampened tea bags over your eyes. Although these remedies seems like a good attempt to tighten your skin, sagging eyelids have underlying causes that often aren't treatable with simple do-it-yourself treatments.
In medical terms, a sagging upper eyelid is referred to as “ptosis” or “blepharoptosis.” According to the University of Illinois Medical Center, this condition is usually present when the muscles or nerves attached to the eyelid malfunction and allow the skin of the eyelid to droop. This can happen as part of the natural aging process or because of specific muscle or nerve damage. Extreme cases of ptosis may cause blocked or blurred vision.
Tales of Tea Bags
Tea bags are likely to be ineffective in treating sagging eyelids. In "Growing Younger: Age Defying Secrets for Women", authors Bridget Doherty and Julia VanTine note the difference between baggy eyes and puffy eyes. Baggy eyes — like sagging eyelids — develop when your eyelid muscles weaken and allow the skin to sag. That sagging skin may eventually appear baggy because of collected fat. Like sagging eyelids, the authors note there is no cure for baggy, sagging skin around the eye area except cosmetic surgery.
Puffy Eye Predicaments
Doherty and VanTine do recommend tea bags for puffy eyes largely because eye puffiness is temporary, not caused by long-term muscle or nerve damage. The tannins, or astringents, in tea reduce puffiness and pull skin taut. They suggest wrapping steeped, cooled tea bags in tissue and placing them over your eyes for up to five minutes.
Cosmetic surgeons can correct a sagging eyelid through a procedure called “blepharoplasty.” According to Plasticsurgery.org, a surgeon can cut away the extra skin that hangs down over your eye. Reshaping the eyelid should remove any vision problems caused by sagging skin, as well as create a more youthful appearance.
Sagging Symptoms and Eyelid Saboteurs
If you suspect your sagging eyelid is not caused by simple aging, ask your doctor to check for other possible causes. Although rare, the University of Illinois Medical Center notes that nerve damage is sometimes caused by a tumor, nerve infection or an uncommonly wide artery. While an infection can be treated with antibiotics, a tumor or enlarged artery may need to be treated with surgery.
- University of Illinois Medical Center: Blepharoplasty—Eye Lift
- “Growing Younger: Breakthrough Age-Defying Secrets for Women”; Bridget Doherty and Julia VanTine
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons: Eyelid Surgery Blepharoplasty