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Health Team

Eye lifts more than cosmetic procedure for some men

Posted December 12, 2013 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated December 12, 2013 6:38 p.m. EST

— Although many men never consider visiting plastic surgeons for cosmetic reasons, more are turning to eye lifts to help alleviate vision problems caused by sagging skin that worsens with age. 

Jimmy Cross is one of them. The 66-year-old wears glasses, but his vision is still limited because of what's happening around his eyes. 

"Everything just seemed a little more dim, and I just can't see as well," Cross said. 

Amy Fowler, an ophthalmic surgeon at UNC Hospitals, says aging can cause skin on the forehead, brow and around the eyes to loosen, a process that will eventually obstruct vision. In Cross' case, the loose skin was becoming a problem. 

"If he doesn't use his forehead muscles, that skin really falls, pushing down his lashes," Fowler said. 

Like many men, 70-year-old Bob Slavnoia dealt with the issue for years. 

"I also had some issues with headaches, from straining," he said.

Slavonia recently underwent the eye lift procedure – also called a blepharoplasty. Fowler removed extra skin from his eye lids, helping to alleviate the need for straining. 

Despite not being concerned initially with the cosmetic improvements, Slavonia says he liked what he sees.  

"You know, I do look a little bit brighter," he said. 

Cross will soon undergo the same procedure. Doctors only use local numbing medicine around the eyes to perform the procedure, and they can lift the forehead or brow or lift skin beside the eye, depending on a patient's needs. 

Insurance typically covers eye lift procedures if it is performed to improve vision.