Droopy eyelids or ptosis is a condition in which the upper eyelids sag/droops, covering the pupil and obstructing vision. One of the main signs of ptosis is low-lying eyelids that force you to arch the eyebrows so as to lift the lids for better vision. Children with droopy eyelids may develop lazy eye(s), and the condition should be treated early to avoid long-term eye complications.
If you or your loved one has droopy eyelids, there are some treatment options that your physician may recommend. But first, you’ll need a proper diagnosis to ensure effective treatment. In some cases, the doctor may decide that no treatment is required, especially when the condition doesn’t affect the quality of life. Before we look at the possible treatment options, let’s first understand the causes of droopy eyelids.
What Causes Droopy Eyelids?
Ptosis is generally classified into two: congenital ptosis and acquired ptosis. Congenital ptosis is present during birth, and the condition may have genetic roots. On the other hand, acquired ptosis develops later in life and could be caused by several factors. Below is a quick overview of the common causes of low-lying eyelids.
- Weakness of the eyelid-raising muscle. This often occurs after an illness, trauma, or injury that weakens the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that aid in lifting the eyelids. An example of these muscles is the levator palpebrae superioris, which elevates the upper eyelid.
- Damage to the nerves. Ptosis may occur when the nerves that control your eyelid muscles, such as the oculomotor nerve, become compromised. Accidental stretching/ tearing of the levator aponeurosis, a tendon-like sheath that aids in the movement of the eyelid, is another common cause of low-lying eyelids. Damage to the nerves may also result from extreme contact lens wear, eye surgery complications, and excessive rubbing, especially for those with glaucoma.
- Diseases. Some illnesses or health conditions may cause or worsen droopy eyelids. These include an eye tumor, eyelid swelling, stroke, diabetes, myasthenia gravis, or Horner syndrome.
- The complication of Botox injections. One of the advantages of Botox injection is its effectiveness in minimizing facial wrinkles. A complication from this injection can, however, cause low-lying eyelids. It’s, therefore, necessary to ensure you get a Botox injection from a licensed and experienced doctor.
- Aging. As we get older, the skin and muscles around the eyes weaken. This is primarily due to the stretching of the levator muscle that holds up the eyelids. A blepharoplasty or eyelid lift surgery can help repair this condition; however, this isn’t always necessary unless the condition adversely affects vision.
- Loose Upper Eyelid. Sometimes the upper eyelid is too loose, causing them to sag to the point of covering the pupil. In most cases, this could be a genetic condition that can only be corrected through surgery where the excess skin is removed. Non-surgical treatments such as injections and fillers or FDA-approved prescription eye drops are also available. Still, it’s advisable to consult a qualified doctor before trying any treatment option.
The Bottom Line
If droopy eyelids or ptosis affects the quality of your life, it’s a sign that you should seek medical intervention. More often, people with low-lying eyelids do not experience pain unless there’s an underlying eye problem. However, some people may struggle with obstructed or blurred vision, leading to lower self-esteem and discomfort. This may also prevent you from performing specific tasks, such as driving yourself to work or operating machinery.
When droopy eyelids adversely affect your vision, talk to a licensed physician who will help you choose the right treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your ptosis, you can go for a surgical procedure, an injection, or a prescription eyedrop such as Upneeq. Consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist today and stay ahead of your droopy eyelids condition.