Q & A: Help for Aging Eyes

Q: Lately I feel like I always look tired, no matter how much rest I get or what I do with my makeup. I have always had deep-set eyes, but now they look more sunken and make me look older overall. Is there anything you can do to help me look less tired?

A: This is a very common problem, because the delicate skin around the eyes does tend to show signs of aging easily and early—especially with eyes that are already deep set. Sun damage, volume loss, and wrinkling due to loss of elasticity can all contribute to the eye area looking sunken, or as you said, “tired.” Fortunately, a skilled cosmetic surgeon can offer you a variety of treatment options to help you look more rested and rejuvenated.

One of the most important steps in addressing “hollow” eyes is to choose your surgeon wisely. Because eyes are so prominent and frequently the very first thing you notice when you meet someone, you want to make sure you choose a qualified cosmetic or facial plastic surgeon who has years of experience doing these kinds of procedures. Ask to see examples of before and after photos to get an idea of the work they have done in the past. The best results will look fresh and natural, never “done.”

Below are some excellent treatment options for rejuvenating hollow eyes, including surgical and non-surgical options. Your surgeon may choose one or a combination of these options, depending on your age, skin tone, and surrounding facial features.

A loss of fat around the eyes, brows, and the mid-face area is frequently to blame for making your eyes look older. This volume loss can sometimes be addressed with synthetic fillers such as Juvederm. Fillers are injected into the tear troughs under the lower lids, plumping and smoothing sunken spots. You can expect a filler treatment to last about 6-9 months, with mild bruising for a few days to a week. This is a good option for a patient who is not yet ready for surgery but wants a more youthful appearance.

Fat transfer. An excellent, all-natural procedure for adding volume to the eye and upper cheek area is to have a facial plastic surgeon take fat from other places on the body where it is not wanted, like the thighs, and add it to the face. Fat transfer typically results in a beautiful, naturally youthful appearance with long-lasting results (3-5 years). Fat transfer is the treatment of choice for a large majority of patients.

Blepharoplasty. In certain cases where there are significant hollows in the tear trough area, as well as an overlying fat pad and excess skin, your surgeon may recommend an eyelid surgery known as a lower blepharoplasty. During this surgery, we remove excess fat and tighten the skin around the eyes. We often recommend this procedure in conjunction with fat transfer in surrounding areas to achieve the most attractive, rejuvenated results.

If you feel that your eyes have become more aged and hollow over time and would like to learn more about your treatment options, please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 for a free personal consultation with Dr. Carey Nease. Dr. Nease is an award-winning, board-certified facial plastic and cosmetic surgeon with experience performing thousands of procedures to restore youth and beauty. He will be happy to answer your questions and create a treatment plan to achieve your goals.

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