Ptosis is a condition that refers to the drooping of an upper eyelid, of one or both eyes. The severity of ptosis varies, and can be barely noticeable, or the lid can descend over the entire pupil. Even though ptosis can affect both children and adults, it usually occurs because of aging. Our ophthalmologist in Brooklyn explains to our patients that the most obvious sign of ptosis is the drooping eyelid. Depending on how severely the lid droops, people with ptosis can actually have difficulty seeing. The degree of droopiness varies from one person to the next, and if you think you may have ptosis, compare a recent photo of your face with one from 10 or 20 years ago. This comparison will most likely show a difference in the eyelid skin.
Ptosis can also look similar to dermatochalasis, a group of connective tissue diseases that cause skin to hang in folds. These diseases are related to less-than-normal elastic tissue formation and our ophthalmologist in Brooklyn should be able to tell whether or not this is the cause of your drooping eyelid. A droopy eyelid makes it more difficult to open your eye fully, which can, unfortunately, interfere with your vision. Ptosis can be present at birth, or develop due to aging, injury, or an aftereffect of cataract surgery, or other corrective eye surgery. Ptosis can also be caused by a problem with the muscles lifting the eyelid, called levators. In certain cases, a person’s facial structure causes difficulties with their levator muscles. An eye tumor, neurological disorder, or a systemic disease like diabetes, can be other causes of drooping eyelids. Drooping eyelids have also been reported as a side-effect from certain injectable cosmetic fillers.
Surgery is usually the best treatment for ptosis, and our ophthalmologist in Brooklyn will tighten levator muscles to lift eyelids, giving you improved vision and appearance. In extreme cases involving weakened levator muscles, our surgeon attaches the eyelid under the eyebrow, allowing the forehead muscles to substitute for levator muscles in lifting your eyelid. Children born with moderate or severe ptosis will need surgical treatment, also called blepharoplasty, in order for proper vision to develop. Failure to treat ptosis can result in amblyopia (diminished vision in one eye) and a lifetime of poor vision.