Ptosis is the medical term for eyelid drooping. It can affect one eye or both eyes simultaneously. In the mildest cases, ptosis is problematic in a strictly cosmetic sense. In serious cases, the eyelid drooping can obstruct the normal field of vision, and those that suffer from it may need to arch their eyebrows or manually lift their eyelids to see clearly.
In this blog post, the team at Eyesthetica discusses the causes of droopy eyelids and explains what our doctors can do to treat it.
Effects of the Aging Process
Ptosis is a common effect of the aging process. The levator is the muscle responsible for lifting the eyelid. With age, this muscle can become stretched out and lose the ability to properly elevate the eyelid. Also, the body’s supply of collagen and elastin — two proteins necessary for tight, smooth skin — dwindles with age. As a result, the skin on the upper eyelids can become loose and saggy.
In some cases, the levator muscle is naturally weak. Though it is rare, some babies are born with ptosis and are unable to open and close their eyelids normally. Children can also acquire ptosis because of trauma to the eyelids or a neurological condition.
The eyes may droop due to an acute condition, such as a sty (typically harmless swelling and inflammation of the eyelid). Other medical conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, a tumor around or behind the eye and abnormal growths can lead to eyelid drooping.
Side Effect of LASIK or Cataract Surgery
Laser vision correction with LASIK or cataract removal surgery can sometimes stretch the eyelid muscle or tendons.
What Eyesthetica Can Do for Droopy Eyelids
The first step to treating droopy eyelids is to determine the cause of the problem. During our evaluation of a patient, we take down a full health history and inquire about medical conditions, previous surgeries, and other related facts. We may perform some testing, too. Once we have the information we need, we confirm the root cause of the ptosis. Then, we recommend a suitable treatment. If a disease is found, it can be treated. However, our doctors most often see patients that have age-related ptosis from excess skin. The suitable solution in these cases is blepharoplasty, which is designed to restore a full field of vision and tighten and smooth the eyelids. During the procedure, excess skin and tissue are removed and the eyelid muscles are tightened. Other patients have ptosis from the weakening of the levator muscle that raises the eyelid up, and will usually have an internal ptosis repair without any external incision, to strengthen this muscle and raise the eyelid’s resting position. The result is unobstructed vision and more youthful and awake-looking eyelids.