Facial appearance tends to be similar among families. For this reason, it isn’t uncommon to see some of the same changes in family members as they age. One of the areas of concern that we treat is the eyes. The skin around the eyes is relatively delicate by nature. It isn’t as thick as the skin on other parts of the face and body. As such, it shows the signs of aging sooner. When the upper eyelids become saggy or droopy with age, many people inevitably pick a family member to attribute this change to. Here, we discuss whether or not sagging eyelids really are genetic and what other factors also contribute to tissue changes around the eyes. 

Are Sagging Eyelids Genetic?

The primary reason our eyelids become saggy is because the skin on the face is affected by gravity. That said, genetics and lifestyle factors can also contribute to particular changes in facial tissue or how those changes look on the face. According to research, sagging eyelids can be seen in multiple members of the same family. This leads us to believe that genetic makeup does play some role. But before you go thanking Grandma for your sagging, heavy eyelids, we should also look at how your lifestyle habits may be exacerbating age-related changes. 

Biological Factors for Sagging Eyelids

Every adult experiences tissue changes in all parts of the face and body as they age. This isn’t genetics so much as it is simple biology. Around age 20, the body stops producing the collagen and elastin that it uses to firm and support the skin. These vital chemicals don’t just help heal cuts and scrapes, they give the skin the stretch it needs to resist gravity. As levels decline over time, lines, wrinkles, and sagging are inevitable. The onset and severity of tissue changes can depend on several lifestyle factors. 

  • UV exposure. Ultraviolet light is to blame for much of the premature aging that goes on in us humans. If you’re not wearing SPF 30 every day and applying an appropriate protective sunscreen to the eyelids, you’re bound to incur sun damage. Wearing sunglasses and hats when outside can help reduce exposure to damaging rays of light. 
  • Lack of sleep. It’s true what they say about beauty sleep. Not only does our skin suffer when we don’t get the right amount of sleep for our body (from 7 ½ to 10 hours), but we may also develop lines and wrinkles due to our sleeping position. As you may have guessed, the only sleep position that does not pose a risk to facial skin is on the back. 
  • Dehydration. The skin naturally has hyaluronic acid particles to maintain moisture. However, without adequate hydration, the skin may lack sufficient water for optimal plumpness and resilience. The skin is the last organ to receive water, so drink up!

Correcting Sagging Eyelids

Regardless of the factors that have caused droopy, saggy upper or lower eyelids, a trusted facial plastic surgeon can correct the issue. Blepharoplasty eyelid surgery is one of the most common procedures that Dr. Fante and Dr. Goecks perform. This procedure carefully shapes the eyelids through precise tightening and trimming of sagging tissue. 

We are proud to serve patients in our comfortable Denver office. Contact us at (303) 839-1616 to schedule your visit.