Ptosis (Droopy eyelid)

Ptosis (“toe-sis”) refers to drooping of an upper eyelid of one of both eyes. The droop may be barely noticeable, or the lid can drop down over the entire pupil. Ptosis can affect both children and adults, but is usually occurs due to ageing.

What causes a ptosis?

Ptosis is commonly caused by ageing. As you become older, the levator “lifting” muscles of the eyelid become stretched resulting in the upper eyelid becoming droopy. Ptosis can also be present at birth (congenital ptosis) and some neurological conditions or other systemic diseases can lead to the development of a ptosis.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The most obvious sign of ptosis is the drooping eyelid. Depending on how severely the lid droops, the ptosis may or may not impact on your vision. If the ptosis is obstructing your pupil your field of vision can become restricted. Some people with a ptosis try to tilt their heads back to try and see under the lid or raise their eyebrows repeatedly to try and lift the eyelids. Others often report that their eyelids feel “heavy” and “saggy”.

What is the treatment for ptosis?

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is usually the best treatment for drooping eyelids. Your ophthalmologist will tighten the levator muscles to lift the eyelids, giving you improved vision and appearances. In more severe cases involving weakened levator muscles, your ophthalmologist will attach the muscle under the eyebrow allowing the forehead muscles to act as a substitute for the levator muscles.

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