Ptosis: Droopy Eyes Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What Is Ptosis?
Ptosis, or pathological droopy eyelid, is typically defined as when the upper eyelid droops over the eye. The condition can affect just one eye or both eyes at the same time and can occur at any age in life.
Patients will notice the appearance of ptosis when the eyelid(s) drop to the point at which it begins to cover the pupil of the eye. As a result, droopy eyelids from this condition can limit or even totally block normal vision. Fortunately, this condition can be treated to improve vision as well as appearance.
What Causes Droopy Eyes?
Ptosis causes are varied, ranging from age and various associated medical disorders to accidental eye trauma to venomous bites from insects or snakes.
Droopy eyes typically occurs when there is a problem with key eye muscles, called levator muscles. These muscles stretch from the eye socket across the eyelid and lift the eyelid out of your line of vision. If there is a problem with your levator muscles, the eyelid may droop, causing ptosis.
It may come and go or it might be permanent. It can be present when a person is born or can develop it later in life. In many cases, the condition will resolve, either naturally or through medical intervention.
How Do You Identify Ptosis?
Your eye doctor can diagnose ptosis during visual field tests to examine your pupils for abnormalities caused by nerve weakness. Your optometrists can assess your eye muscle function by having you look in different directions, or they may gauge the strength of the levator muscle with simple tests to measure how far the eyelid moves from when you’re gazing down to looking up.
How Do You Fix Ptosis?
Depending on the circumstance, ptosis treatment can range from eye exercises to surgery. If the condition is caused by an underlying medical condition, your eye doctor will treat it to cure this condition and stop the eyelids from sagging. If the eyelids are obstructing vision, medical treatment will be needed that can include surgery.
Glasses that can hold the eyelid up, known as a ptosis crutch are a popular treatment option when the patient is a candidate for surgery or the condition is believed to be temporary.
What Is Ptosis Surgery?
Ptosis surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, meaning patients typically go home the same day as the surgery. Local anesthesia will be used to numb your eye and the area around it, and the surgeon will make small adjustments to the elevator muscle. For more serious cases of droopy eyes, this eyelid-lifting muscle could need to be strengthened and reattached to the eyelid.
While this surgery is regarded as a safe procedure, as with all surgeries there are possible risks and complications with ptosis repair. Your ophthalmologist will discuss these with you and whether you are a candidate.
To learn more about this eye condition or to schedule an exam to learn more about ptosis, call today.