Droopy Eyelids — How Are They Fixed?
Eyelids that droop can range from irritating to dangerous depending on how severe your condition is. Even if they aren’t that severe, frustration with your eyelids can cause you to wonder, “How are they fixed?” Fortunately, our team of surgeons can diagnose the root cause of your drooping eyelids and get you the treatment you need.
Droopy eyelids are diagnosed with comprehensive eye exams along with imaging and blood tests if your eye surgeon finds it necessary. The condition is usually treated with surgery for both functional and cosmetic cases. Droopy eyelids can be present at birth as well as acquired later on due to aging or injury.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Drooping eyelids are diagnosed using comprehensive eye exams. In some cases, your ophthalmologist may want to perform blood and imaging tests just to be thorough. While you may think of an eye exam as a checkup for your eyes, the truth is that they do much more. In fact, they can help protect your vision as well as your overall health.
Comprehensive eye exams can help to detect:
- Macular degeneration
- Autoimmune diseases
Treatment for drooping eyelids can vary depending on your condition and age. Most cases of drooping eyelids are solved with surgery from an oculoplastic surgeon, regardless of age. Blepharoplasty can be cosmetic or functional, removing excess skin and fat from the upper eyelids. Blepharoplasty for the lower lids is usually for cosmetic reasons.
Another option would be ptosis repair. In this procedure, a surgeon “raises” the eyelid by shortening or tightening the muscles. Check out the video with Dr. Andrew Anzeljc below for more information!
Are you unsure if you need a comprehensive eye exam? Read 7 Signs That It’s Time For Your Next Comprehensive Eye Exam to see if it’s time to schedule an appointment!
Ptosis (Droopy Eyelids)
Droopy eyelids can have a major impact on your comfort and even your quality of vision. When eyelids droop, it’s usually due to a muscle problem such as nerve damage.
Eyelid ptosis is when your upper eyelid or eyelids are pathologically droopy. Sometimes the droop is minimal and won’t cause any issues with your vision. On the other hand, your eyelid may droop so much that it covers the pupil. In this case, you’ll need to consult your eye doctor about treatment so you can safely resume daily activities such as driving.
Anyone can experience drooping eyelids, but each case can be broken down into one of two different types: congenital ptosis or acquired ptosis. Congenital ptosis is present at birth and is usually due to a problem with the levator muscle. Acquired ptosis (also known as involutional ptosis) develops over time, usually due to eye trauma or the aging process.
What causes ptosis?
Drooping eyelids can occur for a number of reasons. In children with congenital ptosis, it’s often a problem with eyelid muscles that lift the eyelid. This is usually spotted early on since children with congenital ptosis often compensate to see by:
- Tipping their heads back
- Lifting their chins
- Raising their eyebrows
While these tricks can help compensate for a drooping eyelid, they can also lead to head and neck problems later on in life. Kids may also have other eye-related issues such as eye muscle disease, tumors on the eyelid, and eye movement problems.
One ptosis-related condition that can develop in kids is amblyopia, more commonly known as “lazy eye.” Kids with ptosis also have a higher risk for astigmatism, resulting in blurred vision, as well as crossed eyes.
Adults usually develop acquired ptosis due to the levator muscle either stretching or separating from the eyelid. This can be caused naturally by the aging process or by an eye injury. In some cases, it’s a side effect of eye surgery or, more rarely, due to tumors or disease.
Want additional information about treating ptosis? Click here to read one patient’s story and how surgery restored his sight!
Talk to us if you suspect you or your child may be suffering from ptosis. Our team of surgeons can perform the proper tests including a comprehensive eye exam. They may also include imaging and blood tests just to be certain. With this information, we’ll be able to determine how best to treat your condition.
Comprehensive eye exams are essential for diagnosing droopy eyelids, although your eye doctor may recommend imaging and blood tests as well. Once diagnosed, your doctor will develop a treatment plan that usually includes surgery for cosmetic and functional cases. Droopy eyelids are usually acquired later in life, but they can be present at birth.