Just as important as the eye itself are the structures that support and protect the eye-the eyelids, the eye socket, the muscles that move the eyes, the soft tissues that surround the eyes, and the tear system that helps keep the eyes moist. These structures can be affected by injuries, infections, inflammations, tumors, congenital anomalies and problems related to aging. The oculoplastic surgeons at the Eye Institute combine in-depth knowledge of the eye with expertise in reconstructive surgery to treat a broad range of conditions:
There are several eyelid problems that can be present at birth or that can result from injuries or aging. Examples include entropion (the turning in of the lower lid), ectropion (the turning out of the lower lid) and ptosis (the drooping of the upper lid)-see eyelid and tear duct conditions. These conditions are normally treated with surgery to reposition specific muscles.
Eye socket injuries, cancers and other problems
The eye socket is subject to certain injuries, tumors, and congenital abnormalities that can be corrected with outpatient surgery. Oculoplastic surgeons are also instrumental in treating ocular tumors.
Tear system disorders
Tear ducts are an essential part of the eye’s lubrication system (see eyelid and tear duct conditions). Surgery on the tear ducts is typically performed on an outpatient basis.
Facial muscle disorders can impact vision, as when a repeated involuntary muscle contraction produces a disturbing winking motion. Contractures, facial injuries and other conditions can be treated with Botox, a substance that paralyzes the muscle for three to six months. Botox injection is a short, 15-minute procedure. Continued treatment carries some risks, so it is important to choose a physician who is experienced with Botox and very knowledgeable about the eyes and their surrounding anatomy.