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The eyelids are two mobile membranes that help protect the health of the eyeball from external agents such as sunlight. The eyelids are made up of several layers, the outermost being the skin, followed by the muscular, tarsal and mucosal layers.

The palpebral structure is essential to keep the eye properly lubricated, hence the importance of this tissue.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain below what the eyelids are, what they are for and why they are so important for the well-being of the eyes. 

What are the eyelids?

The eyelids are the most important protection system for the eyes, made up of two membranes capable of ascending and descending movements.

The eyelids are the windows of the eyeball, they close to protect the eye from factors such as the light and bacteria and open up so that light is projected onto the retina and the images are formed. 

The skin of the eyelids is the thinnest in the entire human body, but despite that, it contains all the components that make up the tissue in the rest of the body.

Therefore, the eyelids can be affected by any dermal disease.

For the eyelids to open and close normally, two different muscles are involved.

The retractor muscles are responsible for opening the membrane, that is, they are the elevator system; while the Müllerian muscles, or protractors, are the ones that do the closing task. 

What are they for?

The eyelids are much more than a movable tissue that allows you to close and open your eyes. Contrary to popular belief, both the lower and upper eyelids have very important functions for the health of the eyeball.

We are going to know what the eyelids are for next:

  • Protect the eyeball from external factors such as sunlight, microorganisms, dust, pollen, bacteria, debris and debris. 
  • They help spread tears properly. 
  • They protect the eye from drying out during sleep. 
  • Maintains the correct tear film

Eyelid diseases

The eyelids are more exposed to the outside than any other part of the ocular structure, for this reason eyelid conditions are one of the most common causes of visits to the ophthalmologist.

Let's know the most common eyelid diseases:  

Drooping eyelids or palpebral ptosis

La ptosis is the abnormal drooping of the upper eyelid due to an alteration in the levator muscle. Drooping eyelids can interfere with campor visual and affect vision. The most indicated treatment to correct it is droopy eyelid operation.

Entropion and Ectropion

These alterations specifically affect the normal position of the eyelid.

El entropion is the inversion of the eyelid that causes rubbing of the tabs against corneawhich can develop a punctate keratitis o corneal ulcer

El ectropion is the eversion of the lower eyelid that exposes the eyeball and causes ocular dryness, burning, irritation y redness

In both cases, the most effective treatment is ectropion and entropion surgery.

Eyelid Retraction

It happens when the upper eyelid rises excessively, to the point that it is possible to observe the sclera above the cornea.

This condition is usually caused by thyroid disease


This is inflammation of the eyelid margin that is usually chronic and occasionally causes exacerbations.

La Blepharitis can affect the exit holes of the Meibomian glands (posterior blepharitis) or the line where the lashes are born (Blepharitis previous). 

Other pathologies

Other conditions that may occur are:

Eyelid Specialists

The specialist ophthalmologist is the doctor in charge of examining and diagnosing all types of pathology associated with the eyeball.

However, when health problems occur in the eyelid area, the right thing to do is go to the eyelid doctor, better known as oculoplastic

Oculoplasty is a subspecialty of ophthalmology and in Área Oftalmológica Avanzada we have the best doctors in Barcelona dedicated to eyelid conditions. Contact us and make your appointment!

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The eyelids are much more than a tissue that protects the eyes from external factors. We tell you about it in depth and its pathologies.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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