Ocular aesthetics is a movement in the field of eye care which focuses on eye health and overall appearance (of eyes and skin) with the goal of healthy aging. The trend of ocular aesthetics has been gaining steam because certain issues related to eye health not only revolve around the actual eye, but the area (skin) that surrounds the eyes. This particular area is a major concern for aging patients and many of those patients don’t think there’s anything they can do. However, the more we look into the matter, the more we start to uncover several anti-aging measures that can be taken to enhance the overall beauty of the eyes. Some of those measures are as follows:
The only FDA approved eye drop for acquired ptosis (droopy eyelid) that lifts your eyelids open without surgical intervention. This drop became available in the last year and has been widely accepted due to its safety profile and positive affect on overall appearance.
Botox can be best described as an injection that impairs treated muscles from being able to move. In the past, it’s mostly been used for cosmetic purposes. However, today it’s experiencing an ever increasing role in eye care. Before it became popular, it was always used to reduce an eye health condition called blepharospasm, which is when both eyes squeeze shut uncontrollably. These days, it’s also used to prevent wrinkles by keeping certain facial muscles from contracting. This is all in an effort to reduce repetitive facial expressions, which tend to lead to wrinkles as we age.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL):
Although somewhat new to eye care, IPL has been used in other areas of healthcare for quite some time. Mostly used by dermatologists for conditions such as rosacea, it’s now being used by eye doctors to melt clogged oil glands along the eyelid in order to improve dry eye. It also helps to reduce the red appearance of eyelids as a result of ocular rosacea.
To briefly describe the procedure, first eye shields are put in place. From there, a cool gel gets applied to the skin under the eyes and the intense pulse light is applied with a hand-held device. The patient receiving the procedure should feel a warming sensation, but no discomfort at all. When the procedure is done, your doctor will gently remove any additional blocked oil glands. This treatment is usually repeated once a month for a few months, then as needed. As it turns out, IPL is a good option if you’ve tried other dry eye therapies and have not found relief. Also, if you suffer from rosacea, IPL should help reduce redness. Make sure to ask your doctor for more information.
Oculoplastic Surgery – Blepharoplasty:
Sometimes the eyes start to become droopy as a part of the aging process. When this happens, it can diminish the peripheral vision, specifically in the superior part of our vision. When this process occurs, a patient can see a specialist called an oculoplastic surgeon who will remove the droopy skin by performing what is called a blepharoplasty. When a blepharoplasty is performed, it’s important that not too much skin gets removed because this can make it difficult to blink. This is especially important to dry eye sufferers because the inability to close the eyes will significantly worsen signs and symptoms. Make sure to discuss your entire ocular history when meeting with your potential surgeon to avoid complications down the road.
Finding a comfortable eye color with color contacts:
As an outside observer, it seems to me that color contacts go in and out of popularity. This may be due to popular or seasonal trends. Nevertheless, color contacts have been around for quite some time and are even being called “beauty enhancing” contact lenses these days.
Currently available colored contacts are monthly disposables and come in soft lenses (make sure to clean them every night). They typically come in blue, brilliant-blue, green, gemstone-green, gray, sterling-gray, honey, brown, and pure-hazel. As of right now, they aren’t made to correct an astigmatism (better known as a football-shaped eye) like some contacts do, they strictly serve cosmetic purposes.
In my opinion, the change in color from lens to lens is quite subtle. However, certain colored lenses work best with specific eye colors. For instance, blue lenses won’t do much to change a dark-brown eye color, but green or gray lenses work well with light-brown or hazel eye color. Furthermore, green or gemstone-green lenses go well with green eyes, and blue eyes appear more dramatic when wearing blue lenses. I’d say it’s best to try a few options before making a final decision.
Acuvue 1-Day Define lenses are another beauty enhancing contact lens. This particular option gained popularity in Asia prior to being released in the United States. The purpose of these lenses is to make your eyes pop without changing eye color. That said, Acuvue 1-Day Define’s are actually clear in the center, but have a colored ring around the edge. As of right now, Define lenses come in three main categories: Natural Shine, Natural Shimmer, and Natural Sparkle. In my opinion, brown eyes are best enhanced by Natural Shine. Green and hazel eyes are best enhanced by Natural Shimmer. And blue eyes work best with Natural Sparkle. I should note that several of my 40 year-old (and over) female patients really enjoy Acuvue 1-Day Define lenses. This is because they give the eyes a healthier and more youthful appearance.
Lash lengthening serums:
Even though, there are many products available to increase lash length, I’m personally not a big fan because they wreak havoc on the ocular surface and significantly increase instances of dry eye. Furthermore, these serums contain chemical prostaglandins which promote inflammation. In daily practice, I try to explain to patients that our eye lashes are the exact length needed to prevent debris from entering the eye. When eye lashes are lengthened either with serums or false lashes, it actually attracts debris into the eye which can further irritate and dry the eyes out. In the meantime, as much as I oppose using lash lengthening serums, it seems this trend isn’t going away any time soon. That said, I’m hoping more education will help prevent dry eye associated with these serums.
Live In Your OcularPrime:
If you’re thinking about making a change to your personal appearance, even if it is just a subtle change, you should do your own research to gather as much information as possible. If you’re interested in colored contacts, you should reach out to your eye doctor. However, more drastic changes shouldn’t be made on a whim. If you’re considering more than a subtle change, you should definitely consider the advice from those who care about you the most.