A droopy upper eyelid is called Ptosis. The eyelid may droop just a little, or so much that it covers the centre of vision and limits the amount of light that gets in.
Children and adults can have ptosis. Fortunately, this condition can be treated to improve vision as well as appearance.
Ptosis in children
Children born with ptosis have what is called congenital ptosis. This can be caused by developmental problems with the muscle that lifts the eyelid (called the levator muscle).
A child with ptosis may develop the following problems as they grow:
- Head or Neck muscle problems due to constant head tilt or chin elevation
- Lazy eye or amblyopia from poor development of visual pathways from light blockage due to ptosis
- Astigmatism and strabismus (crossed eyes)
Ptosis in adults
Adults get ptosis when the levator muscle stretches or separates away from their eyelid. This can be caused by aging or an eye injury. Sometimes ptosis happens as a side effect after certain eye surgery. Rarely, diseases or tumors can affect the eyelid muscle, causing ptosis.
At your consultation, Dr Bedi will perform a full muscle and nerve exam to find the cause of your ptosis in order to recommend treatment. She will recommend medication or surgery depending on the identified cause.
Medication for adult ptosis
Some patients may have a medical reason for ptosis, specifically Myasthenia Gravis (MG). This medical condition is diagnosed based on a comprehensive neuro-ophthalmic exam, specialized blood test, and neurological diagnostics. MG can be treated with oral medication.
In some specific cases, the patient may be a candidate for prescription eye drops that can help with mild ptosis. Your eye exam will determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment.
Ptosis repair surgery
Ptosis surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day as the surgery. A local anesthesia will be used to numb your eye and the area around it.
As with any type of surgery, there are possible risks and complications with ptosis repair. Your ophthalmologist will discuss these with you.
Before eyelid surgery, be sure to tell your ophthalmologist about all the medicines you take. Include all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. It is important for your eye surgeon to know if you take aspirin (or aspirin-containing drugs) or blood thinners, or if you have a bleeding problem.