5 Causes of Heavy Eyelids

  • November 16, 2020

Do people often assume you’re tired, sad, or angry, even when you’re feeling your best? Drooping eyelids and prominent undereye bags can make you look older. If the skin on your upper eyelid sags significantly, it might even be obstructing your peripheral vision.

What causes heavy eyelids, and is there any way to treat this condition? Read on to learn more.

1. Aging

The skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face, which is why signs of premature aging like crow’s feet can affect some people starting in their early 20s. The skin and muscles in the eye region also weaken with age, causing a downward shift.

2. Heredity

Looking at your relatives can give you some idea of how your appearance will change as you get older. If your parents or grandparents have heavy eyelids and sagging skin, the chances are good that you will, too.

3. Lifestyle Choices

The decisions you make in life can affect how gracefully you age. For example, if you’ve had hobbies or a job that causes you to spend lots of time outdoors and don’t take adequate preventive measures to protect yourself from the damaging effects of UV rays, you could age much more quickly than your friends.


Smoking is another lifestyle factor that causes premature aging. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can affect your production of collagen and elastin, which are the building blocks of healthy skin.

4. Allergies

If you’re an allergy sufferer, you’re already well aware that itchy, watery, swollen eyes are among the symptoms of severe allergies. The medical term for these effects is “allergic conjunctivitis.” When you encounter substances that trigger your allergies, your body releases histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation. Allergic conjunctivitis can make it nearly impossible to resist the impulse to rub your eyes, an action that stretches the eyelid skin and eventually causes more wrinkles and sagging.

5. Medical Conditions

Various health issues also lead to heavy or drooping eyelids. These include some nerve disorders, strokes, brain tumors, cancer, and neurological disorders. If you have persistently droopy eyelids, see your doctor— especially if you have frequent headaches or other symptoms that developed around the same time as you noticed your heavy eyelids.

Surgically Improving Heavy Eyelids

If your droopy eyelids are the result of the natural aging process, your genetic makeup, and the choices you’ve made along the way, the condition isn’t usually harmful to your health. However, if your upper eyelids are obscuring your vision or you have concerns about how your puffy eyelids affect your appearance, you may be a good candidate for blepharoplasty surgery, also known as an eyelid lift. This operation can remove excess skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelids, refreshing your appearance and making you look years younger.


If you’re interested in exploring your options for eyelid lift surgery in Denver, please contact us at 720-443-2235 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Schmidt.

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