Ptosis (Droopy Eyelid)

What is ptosis?

Ptosis occurs when the muscles that normally raise eyelid cannot do so properly.  

What causes ptosis?

Ptosis can be caused by muscle weakness, improper development, loss or nerve supply, inflammation or muscle slipping from correct insertion site.  In children ptosis can be caused by improper development of muscle opening the eye, trauma, damage to nerves that open the eye or control pupil.  In middle-aged or elderly patients most common cause of droopy eyelid is excessive skin weighing down eyelid or age-related process results in muscle slipping from its initial insertion site.  This process may affect one or both eyes. 

How is ptosis diagnosed?

External eye exam is sufficient to diagnose ptosis, however since ptosis can be associated with other potentially dangerous medical or ocular conditions, comprehensive examination is needed to rule out such causes.

What conditions are associated with ptosis?

Ptosis can be also caused by potentially life threatening conditions such as Myasthenia gravis, cerebral aneurism, Horner’s syndrome and others.

How is ptosis treated?

Ptosis treatment may require treatment of underlying medical problem or surgical correction.  Sometimes in mild ptosis eye drops may be used.  Surgery may be performed if droopy eyelid interferes with vision.  Exact surgical technique depends of severity and cause of ptosis.