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Oculoplastics and Aesthetics

Oculoplastic (Eye Plastic) Surgery

Oculoplastic surgery includes a broad range of procedures that deal with the orbit (eye socket), eyelids, tear ducts, and the face. It may also involve reconstruction of the eye and adjacent structures.

What are some of the most commonly treated conditions?

Though Dr. Thornton's oculoplastic expertise is broad, some of the most commonly treated conditions dealing with the eye socket, eyelids, tear ducts, and the face include the follwoing:

Ptosis

Ptosis, or upper eyelid drooping, can either be apparent at birth or develop with age. Surgery to correct ptosis is commonly recommended if it affects a person's vision (tilting head backward in order to see). The type of surgery varies, depending upon how much the eyelids droop.

Ptosis may limit peripheral (side) or central vision. If it occurs in one eye, it may create an uneven appearance. Surgical shortening of the muscle that opens the eyelid will often lead to better vision and improved appearance.

Excess Eyelid Skin

Over time, many people develop excess eyelid skin as it is the thinnest skin on the body and tends to stretch.

In the upper eyelid, this stretched skin may limit your side vision. The same problem causes "bags" to form in the lower eyelids.

The excess skin in the upper eyelids can be removed surgically by a procedure called blepharoplasty. It improves side vision and other symptoms. Removal of the excess skin in either the upper or lower lids may also approve appearance. If excess fatty tissue is present, it may be removed at the same time.

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Ectropion

Stretching of the lower eyelid from age may cause the lid to droop downward and turn outward. This condition is ectropion. Eyelid burns or skin disease can also cause this problem. Ectropion can cause dry eye, excessive tearing, redness, and sensitivity to light and wind. Surgery usually restores the normal eyelid position, improving these symptoms.

Entropion

Entropion occurs most commonly as a result of aging. Infection and scarring inside the eyelid are other causes of entropion. When the eyelid turns inward, the eyelashes and skin rub against the eye, making it red, irritated, watery, and sensitive to light and wind. If not treated, entropion may result in an infection on the clear surface of the eye, the cornea.

With surgery, the eyelid can be turned outward to its normal position.

Eyelid Spasms

People who experience eyelid spasms have a condition in which the eyelids twitch or close involuntarily.

The three most common types of spasms are:

Eyelid twitch (or tic): Common, happens spontaneously. Related to stress, fatigue, or both. Minor twitches require no treatment, usually disappear on their own or by reducing stress, increasing sleep time, and decreasing caffeine intake. If twitches become worse, an eye exam is recommended.

Essential blepharospasm: Condition in which the eyelids (usually of both eyes) close involuntarily. Caused by involuntary nerve impulse to the eyelid. Can last a few seconds or several minutes or even hours. Sporadic blinking, winking, or pinching of the fact are common in early stages. In advanced stages, spasms close eyelids forcefully, limiting vision and interfering with daily activities (walking down stairs, driving, operating machinery, working). Treated with Botox injections, drug therapy, or surgery.

Hemifacial spasm: Involuntary spasm of facial muscles that occurs on one side of the face. Occurs when a blood vessel presses on the facial nerve. In majority of cases, symptoms start near eye and progress down the face. Spasms can last for extended periods in advanced cases. Treated primarily with Botox injections. Drug therapy and, rarely, surgery are also used to treat hemifacial spasm.

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Eyelid Margin Disease & Blepharitis

Eyelid margin disease is a common and persistent inflammation of the eyelids. It frequently occurs in people who have a tendency toward oily skin, dandruff, or dry eyes.

With blepharitis, both the upper and lower eyelids become coated with oily particles and bacteria near the base of the eyelashes.

Symptoms include:

  • Eye and eyelid irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Burning sensation

Blepharitis is often a chronic condition, but it can be controlled with warm compresses, eyelid scrubs, antibiotic ointment, eyedrops, and good hygiene.

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Additional Information

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