Hollywood has romanticized languid, heavy eyelids on heroes and heroines for decades. Yet for some people, these sleepy-looking eyelids present an annoyance, not a silver-screen blessing. They may sag down far enough to block vision and adversely affect a person’s quality of life. This condition is called “ptosis”, and it can be treated by a knowledgeable eye care professional.

What is Ptosis?

Very simply, ptosis is the name for a condition that causes the upper eyelids to droop down over the eye. The sag of the eyelid may be almost unnoticeable, or it may sag far enough to block the pupil of the eye. A person may have this condition in one or both eyes.

This condition is not painful, but it can impair your vision. An affected individual may find they must lift their eyebrows to pull their eyelids upwards so they can see unobstructed. They may tilt their head back to look out from beneath their eyelids.

Children with drooping eyelids may develop a “lazy eye”, or amblyopia, as the sagged eyelid may prevent the normal development of their vision. It is important to address both conditions promptly in children to avert difficulties later in life.

What Causes Ptosis?

The cause of this condition differs for all patients. In children, it is most often congenital, meaning they are born with it. Adults may contract it under various circumstances:

  • Damage to the muscles of the eyelid through injury or disease
  • Surgery, such as LASIK surgery or cataract surgery
  • Eye tumors
  • Aging

Treatment for Drooping Eyelids

Surgery is the usual treatment for this condition. This removes the unneeded skin and adjusts the muscles responsible for lifting the eyelid. Your surgeon may also opt to reattach the muscle and strengthen it for better lift.

Ophthalmologists may choose to wait on this surgery for children to see if it becomes necessary later in life. Some adults find the condition does not adversely affect them and choose not to treat it. However, if this condition creates issues while you climb stairs, drive, or read, treatment may be recommended.

Whether you’re tired of the sleepy-eyed look, or you just want to see more clearly, Valley Eyecare Center’s vision professionals can help. Let us be your partner in better vision! Contact us today, or call us at (602) 955-2700 for an appointment.