The Signs of Ageing Eyes – And How to Fight Them
Some things in life are unavoidable. Ageing is one of them, and the eyes can be one of the first areas of the face to be affected. Once you start to notice the changes around your eyes, it can be difficult to ignore them. So why do the eyes give away age more readily than other parts of the body? As you age, collagen in the skin breaks down more quickly than it can be produced. The thin skin around the eyes is more prone to breaking down and becoming looser, meaning fine lines and wrinkles can begin to develop.
The production of elastin, a protein which provides skin with the ability to stretch and snap back, slows down as you get older. As your eyelids lose this elasticity, they can start to droop. As your skeleton gets older, bones can atrophy, causing the eye socket area to widen and the skin to appear looser and sag even more than with lost elasticity alone. Below the eye, the supporting soft tissue such as fat or muscle can begin to fade, causing the skin to cave in or sag. Additionally, a lack of sleep, stress or a poor diet can cause dark circles (due to iron deficiency) and puffiness.
Minimise the signs of ageing around the eyes.
There are ways in which you can slow the onset of these changes around the eye area. These include using eye creams which contain SPF and UV protection, getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water and ensuring that you eat well – opt for foods high in Omega‑3, carotenoids, zinc and vitamins A, E and C such as fish, leafy green veg, eggs, chicken, nuts and pulses.
Some people are genetically predisposed to ageing eyes, and if you’ve noticed significant changes to your eyelids, you may need to seek a diagnosis for one of the following problems:
• Ectropian – a condition affecting the lower eyelid, where it becomes weak with age, droops away from the eye and turns outwards. It can affect one or both eyes.
• Entropian – a condition where eyelids turn inwards towards your eye. This can cause the lashes to irritate the surface of your eye. Like ectropian, it can occur in one or both eyes.
• Ptosis – When the upper eyelid droops, restricting or blocking your vision. It’s more common in older people due to the weakness of the muscle which lifts the upper eyelid.
• Dark circles and puffy eyes – As you age, collagen breakdown in the skin exceeds the rate of collagen production.
The skin around the eyes is very thin, making the veins under your eyes more visible. The tissue above the eyes begins to weaken and supporting soft tissue, such as fat, begins to slide down the lid, creating a puffy appearance. The muscles below the skin weaken and allow small amounts of fat to prolapse forward, causing eyelid puffiness in the lower eyelids and the appearance of eyebags and dark circles.
Treatment for ageing eyes
If changes to your eyes are affecting your confidence or stopping you from enjoying what you love, Benenden Hospital offers blepharoplasty treatment for ectropian, entropian and ptosis. Their highly respected Ophthalmic Consultants, supported by a team of experienced eye healthcare professionals, can quickly assess and diagnose any eyelid condition you may have.