Contact Lenses and Eye Health
According to a new study, contact lenses (both hard and soft contacts) can affect your facial features over time.
Although contact lenses are a fine alternative to glasses in the improvement of your vision, they may also have an effect on your looks. The Aesthetic Surgery Journal published a study about the use of contacts that can lead to drooping of the eyelids.
Several researchers evaluated photographs of 96 pairs of identical twins who they met annually from year 2008 to 2010 to measure any changes of the droopiness of their eyelid, also known as ptosis. Their study involved one twin wearing contact lenses, while the other wears glasses. The study shows that the twin who wore contact lenses experienced more drooping of the eyelids compared to the twin who wore glasses.
Different Factors Affecting Ptosis
All in all, researchers identified 9 different factors that are the possible cause for ptosis. These factors were evaluated and reviewed through a comprehensive questionnaire and standardized photographs of the twins to determine the extent of ptosis in each of them.
According to the data gathered from the study, wearing hard or soft contacts, including red sclera contacts, were connected to the incidence of ptosis in individuals. On average, the difference in the droopiness of ones eyelid was approximately 0.5 millimeters; meanwhile, among those who didn’t use contacts, eyelid droopiness was around 1 millimeter. For those who use soft contacts, eyelid droopiness increased to about 1.41 millimeters, increasing further to 1.84 millimeters for those who wore hard contact lenses.
In addition, researchers also looked for relationship between eyelid drooping and BMI, as well as smoking, sun exposure, alcohol drinking, stress, and sleep; none of them were significant factors that lead to ptosis.
Bahman Guyuron, MD, FACS, a facial plastic surgeon based in Cleveland, Ohio, the lead study, the relationship between the use of contact lens and ptosis has long been assumed but there were never proofs.
Comparison of Twins
Guyuron told Yahoo Health that because identical twins have genetic makeup that gives them similar eyelid and facial features, their difference would then be associated with various environmental factors. According to him, the only factor that are not related to aging and genetics that are linked to drooping eyelids is the use of contact lenses.
The Effects of Contact Lenses
The effect the study saw was associated with the weakening of the muscles that lift the upper eyelid, and not actually associated with loss eyelid skin. Although the difference of a millimeter might sound small, it is actually enough to affect your facial features as well as your vision.
Procedures to Correct Ptosis
Plastic surgeons actually have a procedure that would correct ptosis. According to the data gathered by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, about 165,714 procedures of the eyelid and 31,315 procedures for brow lifts were done on patients last year.
Ptosis correction is one of the simplest surgeries that plastic surgeons can perform. This is primarily because it is a minimal procedure that requires little time and recovery. Aside from that, it also makes their patients look younger.