While sun exposure, alcohol consumption and smoking have been identified as factors that result in signs of facial aging, current literature provides little information about the impact of these factors on the severity of acquired blepharoptosis.
That’s the background against which researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, undertook a study to assess the influence of environmental factors on eyelid ptosis. They did this by analyzing and reviewing the histories of identical twins with varying degrees of blepharoptosis.
From a database of photos of 286 sets of twins, the researchers identified 96 sets who had ptosis of varying severity. The degree of ptosis was measured in each eye of every subject, and external factors that could potentially have contributed to blepharoptosis were taken into consideration. The researchers assessed how nine different environmental risk factors correlated with ptosis, then created generalized linear mixed models to determine the associations of ptosis measurements with environmental risk factors obtained from the subject survey database.
What They Found
The researchers found that the mean level of upper eyelid ptosis in the study population was 1.1 mm, with the mean difference in ptosis of 0.5 mm between twins. They also found, importantly, that the wearing of contact lenses, either hard or soft, was significantly associated with ptosis. The mean ptosis measurement for those who wore soft contact lenses was 1.41 mm, and 1.84 mm for those who wore hard contact lenses. Among those who wore no contact lenses, the mean ptosis measurement was 1.0 mm.
“Acquired ptosis is not linked to body-mass index, smoking behavior, sun exposure, alcohol use, work stress or sleep,” the authors conclude. “Wearing either hard or soft lenses was associated with an increased risk of ptosis.” The authors note that these factors are independent of genetic predisposition.