Bottom Line: Risk factors for sagging eyelids include being a man, having lighter skin color and having a higher body mass index (BMI), other than aging.
Author: Leonie C. Jacobs, M.D., Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues.
Background: Sagging eyelids because of excess skin (dermatochalasis) is typically seen in middle-age or older adults. Typically a cosmetic concern, sagging eyelids also can cause visual field loss, irritation and headaches because patients force themselves to elevate their brow in order to see better.
Results: Among the group of Dutch Europeans, 17.8 percent had moderate to severe sagging eyelids. Risk factors for sagging eyelids included age, being male, having lighter skin color and a higher BMI. Current smoking also may have some association. Among the twin pairs, heritability of sagging eyelids was estimated at about 61 percent.
Discussion: "Future genetic studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms that explain the interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the development of skin sagging."