Ptosis is the medical term used for droopy eyelids. As the upper eyelid droops, the upper part of vision may be covered. The obstructed vision may be made worse if there is accompanying excess skin on the upper eyelid.
CAUSES OF DROOPY EYELIDS
The levator and Muller’s muscles are the two main muscles that elevate the upper eyelids.
Droopy eyelids may present at birth (congenital) or later in life (acquired).
Congenital ptosis may be caused by mal-development of the levator muscle or birth trauma.
Acquired ptosis may be due to the following:
- Prolonged contact lens wear
- Injury to the eyelid
- Allergic eye or constant eye-rubbing
- Nerve damage
- Muscular disorders like myasthenia gravis or muscle dystrophies
- Eyelid infection
- Growth within the eyelid
SYMPTOMS OF DROOPY EYELIDS
- Eyelid become more difficult to keep open
- Tired appearance
- Headache or brow aches in effort to lift the eyelids
- Vision is better when lids are lifted up, or the need to tilt head backwards to see clearly
DIAGNOSIS OF DROOPY EYELIDS
Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis and evaluate the cause. The severity of droopy lids can be assessed and further treatment discussed.
TREATMENT OF DROOPY EYELIDS
Some causes of droopy eyelid such as Myasthenia Gravis or eye allergies may improve with treatment of the underlying disease using appropriate medication.
Others may require surgery to elevate the eyelid and allow better vision. Surgery can be performed through the external approach (via the skin) or internal approach (without a scar). Risks and benefits of surgery is best discussed with your doctor.