Your eyelids protect and lubricate your eyes, and you likely take their functions for granted, at least until you have something caught beneath them, a discomfort that most people are familiar with.
It’s less well known just how important eyelids can be for your vision health. With the prevalence of digital screens on computers, tablets, and smartphones, dry eye has become a common condition with which many people struggle. About 86% of all dry eye disease cases trace back to eyelid issues.
That’s not the only vision complication for which your eyelids may be responsible. IC Laser Eye Care recommends eyelid exams at one of our offices in Bensalem or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, New Jersey, for patients experiencing dry eye and other symptoms to ensure your entire vision system works as it should for continued years of healthy sight.
Dry eye disease often traces back to meibomian gland dysfunction, a common eye condition that few people are aware they have. The meibomian glands help to produce the oily component of your tears that protects against rapid evaporation. These glands are located on the edges of your eyelids, and they can become clogged or change the quality of the oil they produce.
In older patients, eyelid drooping, called ptosis, can occur as changes to skin laxity affect the eyelids. The skin here is some of the thinnest on the body, making it prone to the effects of gravity as collagen production falls off in the body. For some people, drooping can be serious enough to interfere with vision, particularly to the sides.
Other medical issues attributed to the eyelids include:
While some of these conditions will cause you to seek specific medical care, an eyelid exam may reveal problems in the early stages, before the condition becomes a distraction.
Many of the issues with eyelids start around the point at which eyelashes emerge, so an exam often starts here. This includes checking the activity of the meibomian glands. Lid laxity, referring to the speed at which eyelids return to their normal open position, is tested, along with an evaluation of the extent of eyelid drooping. Eyelid closure is another evaluation, searching for signs that your eyes don’t fully close during sleep. Poor eyelid seal could lead to additional problems.
A dedicated eyelid exam can diagnose and even prevent some cases of dry eye disease. The advancement of ptosis can be monitored before it begins to interfere with your vision. Poorly closing eyelids can aggravate dry eye and lead to blurry vision or even loss of eyesight in extreme, though rare, cases.
With the incidence of dry eye disease significant, monitoring your eyelid health is more important than ever. Contact IC Laser Eye Care by phone or message. Eye care professionals are standing by.