Your eyelids block light, help your eyes stay moist and protect them from debris. Your eye doctor will check your eyelids as well as your eyes at your regular examination, just to make sure the eyelids are healthy. You might also develop an eyelid disorder that needs care.
Bumps, infections and irritation
One of the most common eyelid disorders is called a
Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, is another common eyelid disorder. It happens when the tissue that connects your eye and eyelid gets inflamed. Your eye can look red, leak fluid, and feel itchy, painful or both. Bacteria or a virus cause pinkeye. It spreads easily to other people, so you might want to stay home while you have it.
Blepharitis happens when bacteria and flakes of skin build up at the base of your eyelashes. It is pronounced “
Blepharitis can happen if you have dry eyes or problems with your oil glands. It cannot be cured, but treatment usually takes care of the problem.
Meibomian gland problems
The meibomian glands are small glands in your eyelids. You pronounce them “my-BOW-me-un” glands. They make an oily substance that mixes with the water and other material in your eye’s natural tears. The oil from these glands helps keep the other fluids on your eye’s surface. This keeps your eyes moist and comfortable.
Problems with the meibomian glands can cause dry eye and other conditions. For example, the glands can become blocked. This keeps the oils from reaching your eyes as they should. Treatments include warm compresses, gentle eyelid massage, and special wipes or soap to unblock the glands. Your doctor might also ask you to take fish oil supplements to raise the
Learn more about eyelid conditions from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The upper eyelid sometimes
Dr. Lyons is experienced at doing surgery to correct this problem. In surgery, she can raise the drooping eyelid tissue so it no longer covers your eye.
Insurance usually pays for ptosis surgery (surgery for a drooping eyelid) if it is causing a problem with your sight. This is not the same as having your eyelids “lifted” so you look younger. The medical term for that is “cosmetic eyelid lift,” or “eyelid lift.” Eye doctors also do this type of surgery, but insurance might not pay because you do not have a medical need for it.
Learn about drooping eyelid, or ptosis, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.