What are Hooded Eyes? Causes and Solutions
Authored by Dr. Karan Chopra
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?
You 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).
The natural aging process affects the muscles supporting the eyelids. With time, the muscles get weaker and looser, leading to ptosis. In addition, factors like gravity, eye blinking, and sun rays contribute to the stretching and weakening of muscles supporting the eyelid skin.
Underlying Medical Conditions
When both eyelids droop, it is usually due to an underlying medical condition. These conditions include Myasthenia Gravis, stroke, brain tumor, eye infection, or eyelid tumor.
Eye Injury and Surgery
Although temporary, procedures like LASIK, glaucoma, or cataract surgery may lead to hooded eyes. In addition, injury affects the nerves in the eye, causing them to droop. Also, wearing eye contacts for a long time may cause eye injury.
BOTOX® Cosmetic Injections
BOTOX® Cosmetic injections in the forehead may over-paralyze the forehead muscle, causing upper eyelid heaviness and droopy eyes. This complication is known as a “dropped brow.”
Congenital ptosis may occur at birth or develop later due to disease or injury. In addition, when the levator muscle holding the eyelid does not develop properly, the baby is likely to have one or two droopy eyelids.
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:
- Vision Problems: Hooded eyelids cause concern when they obstruct the pupils, block your peripheral vision, and make things look blurry.
- Headaches: When the eyelids obstruct your vision, you tend to squint to see better — squinting strains the eye muscles, leading to headaches.
- Dry Eyes: The eyes need to be constantly moist to prevent dryness and irritation. When droopy eyes don’t keep your eyes as moist as they should be, then you need to see your doctor.
- Aesthetic Problems: Hooded eyes can make your face look puffy and uneven. Consequently, you tend to squint to see or tilt your head while talking to people. All of these factors make your face look wrinkled and off-putting. Hooded eyes can also cause more forehead wrinkling as you try harder to keep excess skin out of your eyes.
What are Solutions for Hooded Eyes?
Hooded 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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
Home 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:
- Using chamomile tea bags. Chamomile contains anti-inflammatory agents that treat hooded eyes. Before placing the bags over your eyes, keep them in hot water, then store them in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, keep the bags on your eyes for 20 minutes
- Using chilled cucumbers. Cucumbers contain vitamin C and folic acid, helping to stimulate cell growth. Also, the cucumber cools your eyes because they are chilled, helping them look refreshed and energetic
- Using ice water. The cold temperature of ice water can firm the skin and reduce sagging.
- Adding grapes to your diet. Grapes have high resveratrol content. Resveratrol is known to slow cellular aging.
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
Are hooded eyes attractive?
Hooded eyes are not necessarily a bad thing. Some people have hooded eyes from birth, and most consider this eye shape attractive.
What does it mean when you have hooded eyes?
Hooded eyes mean that the skin around your eyes sags. Excess skin folding down from your brow line means you have hooded eyes. The condition is more noticeable toward the outer edge of your eye. In addition, hooded eyes make your face look puffy, tired, and older.
Can hooded eyes be fixed?
Yes. Surgical procedures like upper blepharoplasty remove the excess skin and fat that cause the eyelids to sag. The procedure also tightens the muscles and tissue surrounding the eyelid. Brow lift surgery also lifts the forehead muscles to give the face a younger and more appealing look. On the other hand, non-surgical methods and home remedies do not fix hooded eyes permanently.
Can you prevent hooded eyes?
Some people have hooded eyes at birth. For most individuals, the condition occurs due to aging. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent hooded eyes. Instead, you can slow its occurrence by avoiding sun exposure, smoking, and staying up too late. You can also get early surgical treatment to prevent further drooping.
Are hooded eyes uncomfortable?
The extra layers of skin on the eyelids cause heaviness and discomfort. They make it hard for you to see. In addition, droopy eyelids can cause dry eyes and irritation.
Can you lift your eyelids without surgery?
Fillers and injectables can plump and add volume to the area around your eyes. Nevertheless, only surgery can remove the excess fat and skin surrounding the eyelids. So, suppose you are looking for a more permanent solution to your hooded eyelids. In that case, a blepharoplasty or brow lift surgery is necessary.
Does weight gain cause hooded eyes?
Weight gain increases fat accumulation in the body. Unfortunately, the eyelids also accumulate fat. Consequently, the eyelids sag and become heavy due to fat accumulation. Eventually, weight gain causes your eyes to droop.
Further Reading About Face Procedures With Dr. Chopra
- Facelift Surgery
- Deep Neck Lift Surgery
- Facial Liposuction Procedure
- Rhinoplasty Surgery