Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, March 4, 1999 Published at 00:29 GMT


Men suffer from eyelid droop

The eyelids droop as you get older

Men are more likely than women to suffer eyelid droop as they age, scientists have discovered.

The researchers, from the Rotterdam Eye Hospital, took side and front view photographs of the eyes of 320 people between the ages of 10 and 89.

They found that after the age of 35, the lower eyelid started to sag, the effect of which was twice as great in men as women.

Sagging is caused by the increased laxity of eyelid tissues with age. It may also be related to a loss of fat around the eye socket.

Researcher Dr Willem van den Bosch said eyelid droop was associated with two painful conditions.

Inward rotation of the eyelid, or entropion, leads to the eyelashes rubbing against the surface of the eye, the cornea.

This can lead to severe irritation of the eye, and to corneal damage.

Outward rotation of the eyelid, or ectropion, also leads to irritation, both of the eye and the eyelid.

As the tear duct is no longer in contact with the surface of the eye, there is also no way for the eye to remove tears easily.

Corrective surgery involves tightening the eyelid, but this can cause problems as the eyelid also shortens horizontally with age.

The researchers say the next step is to study whether men suffer more frequently from lower eyelid disorders.

The Dutch study also found that forehead wrinkles drag up the position of the eyebrows, the effect of which was more noticeable in men as eyebrows are around 2.5 mm higher in women to begin with.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Health Contents

Background Briefings
Medical notes

Relevant Stories

11 Nov 98 | Health
Campaign targets leading cause of blindness

12 Oct 98 | Health
Eye care by postcode

01 Oct 98 | Health
Pesticide link to eye abnormalities

28 May 98 | Latest News
Elderly turn a blind eye to vision problems

Internet Links

Eye diseases

The Eye in Health and Disease

Eyelid drooping

International Society for Eye Research

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99