What Is Ptosis?
drooping, also called ptosis, may occur due to trauma, age, or various medical
disorders. This condition can affect one (unilateral ptosis) or both (bilateral
ptosis) eyes, it may come and go, or it might be permanent. It can be present
at birth (known as congenital ptosis) or you can develop it later in life (known
as acquired ptosis).
the severity of the condition, drooping eyelids can block or greatly reduce
vision depending on how much it obstructs the pupil. In most cases, the
condition will resolve, either naturally or through medical intervention.
Causes and Risk Factors of
many different possible causes of droopy eyelids, ranging from natural causes
to more serious conditions. Your doctor will also be able to help you figure
out what’s causing the issue.
get droopy eyelids, but it’s most common in older adults because of the natural
aging process. A tendon attaches the levator muscle, which is responsible for
lifting the eyelid. As you age, that muscle can stretch and, as a result, cause
the eyelid to fall. Keep in mind, though, that people of all ages can be
affected by this condition. Babies are sometimes born with it, but this is rare.
the exact cause is unknown, but other times it may be due to trauma. It can
also be neurological. The most common cause of congenital ptosis is if the
levator muscle doesn’t develop properly, affecting your ability to open your
have ptosis may also develop amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye. This
disorder can also delay or limit their vision.
eyelids are drooping, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition,
especially if the issue affects both eyelids. If just one of your eyelids
droops, it may be a result of a nerve injury or a temporary sty (inflammation
and swelling of the eyelid that is usually harmless). Routine LASIK or cataract
surgery is sometimes to blame for the development of ptosis, as a result of the
muscle or tendon being stretched.
cases, eyelid drooping is caused by more serious conditions, such as a stroke,
brain tumor, or cancer of the nerves or muscles. Neurological disorders that
affect the nerves or muscles of the eyes such as myasthenia gravis can also
lead to ptosis.
What Are the Symptoms of
symptom of eyelid drooping is that one or both eyelids sag. In some cases, this
can affect your vision. However, many people find that the eyelid sagging is
barely noticeable or doesn’t happen all the time. You may also have extremely
dry or watery eyes, and you may notice that your face looks weary or tired.
problematic areas will be around the eyes, and you may experience aching, which
can also cause you to look tired. Some patients who have a severe case have to
tilt their heads back at all times when speaking, even when holding a normal
should investigate persistent eyelid drooping to make sure there are no
underlying conditions. This is especially important if you notice that migraine
headaches or other issues have shown up since you first noticed the drooping.
Diagnosing Eyelid Drooping
doctor will likely perform a physical exam and ask you about your medical
history. Once you have explained how often the eyelids droop and the length of
time this has been happening, your doctor will run some tests to find the
slit lamp exam may be done so that your doctor can take a close look at your
eye with the help of high-intensity light. Your eyes may be dilated for this
exam, so you may experience some slight eye discomfort.
exam that can be used to diagnose issues such as eyelid drooping is the
Tensilon test. Your doctor may inject a drug called Tensilon (generic name
edrophonium) into one of your veins. You may be asked to cross your eyes or make
other movements that use your eye muscles. Your doctor will monitor you to see
if the Tensilon improves your muscle strength. This will help them determine
whether muscle issues are causing the eyelid drooping.
Treating Eyelid Drooping
treatment for eyelid drooping depends on the specific cause. If the condition
is the result of age or is something you were born with, you may not receive
treatment. Your doctor may explain that nothing needs to be done because the
condition is not usually harmful to your health. However, you may opt for
plastic surgery if you want to reduce the drooping.
eyelid blocks your vision, you will need medical treatment. Your doctor may
recommend surgery. Glasses that can hold the eyelid up are another option. This
treatment is often most effective when the eyelid drooping is only temporary so
that you don’t have to wear the glasses all the time. Glasses may also be
recommended if you aren’t a good candidate for surgery.
Your doctor may
recommend ptosis surgery. During this procedure, the levator muscle is tightened.
This will lift the eyelid up into the desired position. Another alternative is
a “sling” operation, in which the forehead muscles are used to elevate the
who have ptosis, doctors sometimes recommend surgery in order to prevent the
onset of amblyopia or lazy eye.
doctor finds that your eyelid drooping is caused by an underlying condition,
you will likely be treated for that. This should typically stop the eyelids
There is no
way to prevent eyelid drooping. Just knowing the symptoms and getting a regular
eye exam can help you fight the disorder. If you notice that your child seems
to have a drooping eyelid, take them to the doctor right away to be treated and
monitored. Since it can affect your vision, which can affect your driving
ability and other activities, you should take it seriously. You may be able to
stop it from getting worse by seeing a doctor right away.
drooping isn’t usually harmful to your health. However, if your eyelids block
your vision, you should avoid driving until the condition has been treated.
Your long-term outlook will depend on the cause of the eyelid drooping. Most of
the time, the condition is just a cosmetic issue. However, since droopy eyelids
can sometimes be a sign of a more dangerous condition, always consult your