Study Finds Increased Risk of Drooping Upper Eyelids among Contact Lens Users

Drooping Upper EyelidsMany people prefer to wear contact lenses rather than glasses as it helps them look the way they want and enjoy freedom of movement. Contact lenses are a healthy, comfortable and convenient vision correction option when handled carefully. However, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports that a recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal reveals that wearing contact lenses increases the risk of drooping upper eyelids.

The research found that both hard and soft contact lenses may contribute to ptosis, (the medical term for drooping upper eyelids). The study was conducted on twins who wore soft contact lenses, hard ones and those who did not wear contact lenses. The researchers analyzed 96 sets of identical twins with differing severity of drooping eyelids. They looked for an association between drooping eyelids and factors such as body mass index (BMI), sun exposure, smoking, alcohol consumption, sleep and work-related stress were studied. None of these factors were seen to have a notable impact on drooping eyelids.

The study found that:

  • Twins who wore hard contact lenses had the greatest severity of the drooping eyelids with mean ptosis measurement of 1.84 mm
  • Twins who wore soft lenses had less severity of the drooping eyelids with mean ptosis measurement of 1.41 mm
  • Twins who did not wear contact lenses had a mean ptosis measurement of 1.00 mm

According to the lead surgeon, such small differences are significant when it comes to the eyelids and plastic surgeons who specialize eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) confirm that even a ½ millimeter can make a big difference when it comes to vision and overall appearance.

Wearing contact lenses was found to be the only external factor that was linked to ptosis, and the lead surgeon involved in the study said that that their research attributes this to “the recurrent traction of the eyelid during placement and removal of the lens”.