Your Thyroid can affect the appearance of Eye Bags

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Lower eye bags from a combination of natural age-related changes to orbital fat and elevated thyroid level, i.e. Graves disease.

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.

12 Responses to Your Thyroid can affect the appearance of Eye Bags

  • Mildred says:

    So informative information I am a hypothyroid patient and I am looking forward to having a lower blepharoplasty surgery .I am not sure if my inc.will cover it .

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog. Thyroid conditions can affect appearance of the eyes. Patients should speak with their physicians to help determine appropriate treatment options.

      Dr. Chaboki

  • Rehana says:

    Hi, I suffer from hypothyroidism and feel very unhappy about my swollen under eyes. Is there anything else we can do, like creams, contour or whatever do ease the damages without having surgery?
    Thank you

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      New nonsurgical treatments such as fillers, peels, injections, and medications are available to help treat under eye area without surgery. Surgery remains a possible option for those with eye bags. A consultation can help determine appropriate options. Please contact the office to get started. Thank you!

  • Eve Thomson says:

    I have just developed lower eye bags that make me look old, tired and no amount of make up makes a difference. I also have a meningioma brain tumour on the same side as my worse eye bag. It sounds trivial to complain but it’s making me so depressed.

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Lower eye bags can be treated via various methods, both surgical and non surgically. A consultation is the first step to help determine potential options. Please contact the office to get started. Thank you!

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading our blog! Under eye bags and dark circles are common concerns of many patients. While surgery may be recommended for some patients, nonsurgical treatments with fillers may be an option for appropriate patients. Patients can first start with a consultation with surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery.

      Read more about nonsurgical eye lifts in our blog.

      Dr. Chaboki

  • Joyce says:

    I had total hip replacement 3 months ago. I’ve had very noticeable bags and dark circles under my eyes ever since. I’m getting plenty of sleep, exercising and healing well after my surgery. My Dr., about 6 months ago, lowered my thyroid medicine for hypothyroidism from 88 mg to 75 mg. Could there be any relation regarding the bags and circles to either event?

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog!

      The appearance of the face can be affected by many factors, including stress and medications. Eye bags and dark circles can be treated with filler injections, facial fat transfer, and blepharoplasty surgery. Office consultation is required to help determine best options.


    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog!

      Each case is unique and insurance coverage will vary. Office consultation is required to first determine appropriate options. The plastic surgery office can then help patients determine insurance coverage.


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