What Causes Drooping Eyelids (Ptosis)?

It can certainly be frustrating to have eyelids that droop, and you should realize at the onset of this problem that it has nothing to do with fatigue. Rather, eyelid drooping is a medical condition known as “ptosis.” In the most extreme instances, the eyelids will entirely block a person’s sight. Fortunately, surgery can be an effective way of addressing ptosis. By the way, you should note that local Houston eyelid surgery is among the finest in the world.

Generally speaking, there is no way to prevent ptosis and some people are born with drooping eyelids. In most instances, when ptosis is congenital, it affects one eye only, and it is usually due to a developmental issue with the levator palpebrae superioris, which is the muscle that raises the eyelid. A surgeon will treat an infant’s drooping eyelids if they are obstructing his or her vision so as to avoid long-term, irreversible loss of sight. By contrast, a child who has a mild case of ptosis at birth ― a case in which the vision is not severely affected ― they probably will not undergo a corrective operation until he or she is between the ages of 3 and 5.

Simply growing older can lead to ptosis. Over time, the tendon that is connected to the levator palpebrae superioris can stretch so far that it is no longer fully effectual. When aging causes ptosis, one eyelid tends to hang lower than the other. Also, when eyelid drooping is related to age, it tends to worsen gradually as the years pass.

On the other hand, ptosis could indicate a serious disorder. An eye tumor, infection, or injury could be responsible. Diabetes and myasthenia gravis ― the latter is a disease of the nervous and muscular systems ― can bring about eyelid dangling as well.

When your eyelids droop, you might try to lift them by continually raising your eyebrows, a practice that can lead to headaches. Excluding that situation, it is possible that you could have ptosis for a long time without having to endure any great difficulties. However, given that drooping eyelids can indicate serious health troubles, the wisest course of action is to seek medical attention.

In particular, you should see a doctor as soon as you can if your eyelids have begun sagging all of a sudden. You should also schedule a doctor’s appointment if your drooping eyelids are accompanied by symptoms like eye pain, double vision, a fever, slurred speech, or muscle weaknesses. Moreover, children with drooping eyelids always need to see their pediatrician.

When you visit your doctor because of ptosis, they will measure your eyelids as well as the exposed areas of your eyes. It is also probable that your physician will review your medical records and give you a comprehensive examination in order to determine the source of your ptosis. The exam should include a neurological component. Afterwards, your doctor might even order other diagnostic services such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.

If a disease of the eyes, muscles, and/or nervous system is causing your ptosis, your doctor will decide upon a course of treatment. If, however, your doctor determines that you are not suffering from a disease, your next action will probably be to visit a Houston oculoplastic surgeon or a Houston orbital reconstructive surgeon. This type of specialist will be able to raise one or both of your eyelids. It is a relatively simple surgery. You will probably receive the procedure on an outpatient basis, and your surgeon is more likely to administer local anesthesia than general anesthesia. The best news is that this kind of operation is almost always successful for correcting drooping eyelids.

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