‘Risk factors identified for sagging eyelids’

29 May 2014

There appear to be more risk factors for developing sagging eyelids, other than ageing, according to research from the Erasmus Medical Centre.

Eyelids begin to droop because of excess skin - otherwise known as dermatochalasis. This is typically seen in middle-aged or older adults and can be corrected by cosmetic eye surgery

The condition is typically seen as a concern regarding one’s appearance, but it can cause some loss of vision, irritation and headaches, as people force themselves to elevate their brows to see better.

To conduct the new study, researchers analysed two population-based groups, which were 5,578 unrelated participants of North European ancestry and 2,186 twins.

Among the unrelated participants, 17.8 per cent had moderate to severe sagging eyelids. Risk factors in this group included age, being male, having a lighter skin colour and a higher body mass index. In addition, there was some association between being a current smoker.

Inheritability of sagging eyelids among the twin population was estimated at around 61 per cent.

Leonie C Jacobs, lead author of the study, commented: "Future genetic studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms that explain the interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the development of skin sagging."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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