As we age, gravity affects every part of our body, even the skin and muscles of our eyes. The skin around our eyes loses elasticity and the muscle tone in our eyelids decreases. Over time, this may result in droopy eyelids, or ptosis.
The muscle that lifts the eyelid is called the levator muscle, and when it stretches or weakens it becomes harder to keep the eyes fully open. This may occur in one or both eyelids as we age. However, age is not the only cause of droopy eyelids. Ptosis can also be congenital when the levator muscle fails to develop properly in utero, as was the case with the famous actor, director, and producer Forest Whitaker.
In addition, medical conditions such as an eye injury, nerve damage, or tumors can cause the upper eyelid to droop lower than normal. Regardless of the cause, droopy eyelids are not just a cosmetic concern. If a droopy eyelid covers part of your pupil, then your vision will be affected. Ptosis can restrict or even completely block normal vision. (more…)