Yes, your thyroid can affect the appearance of eye bags.
Eye bags are not always from fat. The lower eyes and eyelids can become puffy or bulge from a variety of reasons, such as allergies and hormones. Read more about puffy eyes in our plastic surgery blog.
How can the Thyroid gland affect the Eyes?
Thyroid disorders, either with elevated hormone level (ie. hyperthyroidism) or a depressed hormone level (ie. hypothyroidism), can affect the eyes. Statistically an under active thyroid gland is more common, which may contribute to increase tired, worn-out appearance and wrinkles.
For some thyroid patients, especially with hyperthyroidism, under eye bags are increased. In advanced cases, the eyes may appear to bulge out of their head.
Most plastic surgeons performing eyelid surgery will evaluate for thyroid condition, in conjunction with the patient’s primary physician, prior to any facial cosmetic surgery. It is very difficult to determine, however, how much of one’s appearance is specifically due to thyroid condition vs. normal aging vs. genetics, or other factors.
How can Plastic Surgery help Eye Bags?
There isn’t a best cosmetic eye bag treatment for all thyroid patients. A comprehensive evaluation by a cosmetic eyelid surgeon can one determine appropriate options for a particular patient. Aesthetic treatment may be skin care, wrinkle relaxers (ex. Botox®), and injectable fillers (liquid lift for eye bags). These nonsurgical treatments can be the first step before eyelid surgery.
Eyelid surgery with fat removal can be considered to reduce the eye bag. Lower blepharoplasty for thyroid patients may involve an incision hidden inside the eyelid to avoid external scars. However, a patients thyroid condition should be stable prior to elective surgery.
For patients with Graves disease and an elevated thyroid gland, then a more advanced type of eye surgery may be performed. Orbital decompression is a procedure where the bone around the eye is removed to allow the eye tissue to “relax” and set back more into the skull. Dr. Chaboki is a specialized facial plastic surgeon who performs such advanced eyelid procedures.
Speak with a surgeon performing eyelid surgery to help determine if cosmetic eyelid surgery is appropriate for you.