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What are Hooded Eyes? Causes and Solutions

Authored by Dr. Karan Chopra

Close-up of a woman's face and left eye. She is holding her hand in front of her cheek and spreading out her fingers to frame her eye.The eyes are a defining characteristic of any person’s appearance and your eyelids protect the eyes from the sun, water, and dust. Furthermore, the eyelids give your eyes their characteristic shape, size, and look. For this reason, people with droopy eyelids or hooded eyes look older, tired, and more stressed. Hooded eyelids occur when extra skin from the eyebrow weighs down on the eyes, causing a droopy appearance. This can result from aging, congenital issues, underlying medical conditions, and eye injury. Therefore, hooded eyes often can’t be prevented. However, you can get eyelid ptosis surgery to correct this issue. Cosmetic surgeon Karan Chopra, MD regularly performs eyelid ptosis surgery to help patients achieve the facial features they desire.

What are Hooded Eyes?

Hooded eyes are a common facial feature. When the eyelids have a small flap of excess skin under each eyebrow, they create hooded eyelids. Unfortunately, these extra skin folds give the eyes a droopy appearance, making you look tired and sleepy. They can also make your face look exhausted and older than you actually are.

Your eyelids are a visible generic trait. Although not universal, parents with hooded eyes often pass the trait on to their children. Furthermore, factors like obesity, sleep apnea, eye rubbing, and sun exposure can lead to hooded eyes on top of genetic predisposition. With age, people develop or have more pronounced hooding.

Do I Have Hooded Eyes?

Close-up of a green eyeYou can confirm if you have hooded eyes by looking closely in the mirror. When in front of the mirror, open your eyes comfortably. Then, check if the skin under your brow covers or almost covers your upper eyelids. If they do, then you most likely have hooded eyes.

You can also check if you have hooded eyes by checking your eyelash line. If the skin below your brow touches or almost touches the lash line, you may have hooded eyes. Generally, people with hooded eyes do not have much eyelid space, which limits options for eye makeup.

Hooded Eyes vs. Droopy Eyes

It is sometimes easy to confuse hooded eyes with droopy eyes, but they are different conditions. Hooded eyes are normal and hereditary, and may not affect your vision. On the other hand, droopy eyes (ptosis) result from aging or an underlying medical condition limiting your peripheral vision. Ptosis is a condition where one or both eyelids droop. When dealing with eyelid ptosis, the skin covering the eyeballs — not the one near the brow — sags and affects vision.

Causes of Hooded Eyes

The leading causes of hooded eyelids include aging, underlying medical conditions, eye injury and surgery, BOTOX® Cosmetic, and congenital defects (from birth).

When are Hooded Eyelids a Cause for Concern?

Some people consider hooded eyelids attractive, especially when the sagginess is barely noticeable. However, if you experience any of the following, you need to see a doctor:

What are Solutions for Hooded Eyes?

A woman sitting on a bed and putting eyedrops in her eyeHooded eyelid treatment can be surgical or non-surgical, depending on the severity of the condition. You can find out the most suitable treatment plan for you after scheduling a consultation with Dr. Chopra.

Non-Surgical Methods for Treating Hooded Eyes

Dr. Chopra may recommend a non-surgical treatment if your eyelid droopiness is not severe. Non-surgical treatment options can include:

  1. BOTOX® Cosmetic
    BOTOX® Cosmetic is a neurotoxin that prevents muscle movement, keeping the skin from folding over. When BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected into the skin surrounding the eyes, it relaxes the muscles pulling the eyelids down. Consequently, it relieves eye heaviness and lifts the upper eyelid.
  2. Dermal Fillers
    Dermal fillers like JUVÉDERM® can give the eyelids more volume, plumping their appearance. Hyaluronic acid and other eye fillers are injected into the upper eyelids and brows, rejuvenating your eyes and giving them a younger look. Although a quick fix, dermal fillers do not provide permanent results. So, you may need to get repeat injections every three to six months for the best results.
  3. Eyeglasses
    Some doctors recommend special eyeglasses with crutches to treat hooded eyes. The crutches lift the eyelids, improving your vision. Eyeglasses are a suitable treatment for people with temporary hooded eyelids that don’t droop very much.
  4. Eye Drops
    Incorrect placement of BOTOX® Cosmetic injections can partially paralyze eyelid and eyebrow muscles, causing droopiness. Iopidine eye drops can help with hooded eyes because they make the eyelids contract quickly.

Surgical Procedures for Hooded Eyes

Surgical hooded eye treatment is recommended for more pronounced droopy eyes. In addition, they offer a more permanent solution, improving overall appearance. Surgical hooded eye treatments include:

  1. Upper Blepharoplasty Surgery
    Upper eyelid surgery is the most durable solution for droopy eyes. The procedure produces fast results, has minimal downtime, and results in a dramatic change in appearance. Dr. Karan Chopra is a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon who can help you achieve the desired results.

    During the surgery, Dr. Chopra tightens the levator muscle controlling the upper lid, and then lifts the eyelid into a better position. The surgeon removes excess fat and skin from the upper eyelid, making the eyes look younger and bigger. Consequently, the eyes regain their youthful appearance and you get to enjoy improved vision and eyesight. Children with droopy eyelids can also undergo blepharoplasty surgery to prevent lazy eyes.

    The blepharoplasty procedure usually takes about 45 – 60 minutes when performed in the clinic. In addition, the post-operative pain is minimal. You should be able to recover and return to work within ten days of the surgery.

  2. Brow Lift Surgery
    A brow lift lifts the brow, making the eyes look younger. Dr. Chopra will lift the deep forehead muscles and overlying skin during the surgery, bringing the whole face up. The brow lift procedure requires a minimally invasive endoscopic technique wherein your surgeon makes a small incision above the eyelids. Then, your surgeon can pull the eyelids up by lifting the forehead muscles.

    Brow lift surgery is not only suitable for droopy eyes — it can also help you get rid of forehead wrinkles, smoothing the skin around the eyes.

How to Treat Hooded Eyes At Home

A photo from above of a woman lying down with cucumbers over her eyes in a spa environmentHome remedies for hooded eyes are temporary. But they may help you look younger for a special occasion or a short period.

Some home remedies you can try include:

What is the Best Solution for Hooded Eyelids?

As discussed earlier, there are several solutions for hooded eyelids. Now, the best solution for you depends on the level of sagginess in your eyelids. Furthermore, suppose you are experiencing vision problems or you’re unsatisfied with your look — in that case, the upper eyelid lift could be the best treatment for you.

Before obtaining a solution to your hooded eyelids, you must first consult with Dr. Karan Chopra. Generally, if you have minor drooping, the surgeon may recommend non-surgical options like BOTOX® Cosmetic or hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. Although they provide immediate and natural-looking results, they are not durable in the long run.

Suppose you have significant droopiness in your eyelids. In that case, your surgeon may recommend a more permanent fix, such as a brow or eyelid lift. Sometimes, you may even get both procedures at the same time.

It is important to note that home remedies are not a permanent solution to hooded eyelids.

FAQs About Hooded Eyes & Eyelid Lift Surgery

Further Reading About Face Procedures With Dr. Chopra

Medical References About Hooded Eyelid Correction

This blog has been authored by “Dr. Joe” Gryskiewicz MD, FACS and Karan Chopra, MD.

About Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz:

Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience performing aesthetic surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and belongs to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Aesthetic Society, The Rhinoplasty Society, and many other national institutions.

About Dr. Karan Chopra:

Dr. Karan Chopra is a board-certified and fellowship-trained plastic surgeon who specializes in the deep plane facelift and neck lift, blepharoplasty, buccal fat removal, breast augmentation, and many other aesthetic procedures. He belongs to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Aesthetic Society, and The Minnesota Society of Plastic Surgeons, among many other professional organizations.