Blepharoplasty is the type of surgery that repairs droopy eyelids. An ophthalmologist or a plastic and reconstructive surgeon can perform this surgery. During the surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the natural fold of your eye, and removes excess skin, muscle and possibly fat along your upper eye lid.
Drooping of the eyelid is called ptosis. Ptosis may result from damage to the nerve that controls the muscles of the eyelid, problems with the muscle strength (as in myasthenia gravis), or from swelling of the lid.
All children with ptosis—whether or not they have surgery—should see their ophthalmologist regularly for eye exams. Ask your child's ophthalmologist how often exams are needed. Because kids' eyes grow and change shape, they need to be checked for amblyopia, refractive disorders, and other eye problems.
Patients with ptosis should be investigated clinically by an ophthalmologist and neurologist, for blood tests, X-rays, and CT/MRI scans of the brain, orbita, and thorax.
Ptosis is typically diagnosed by an ophthalmologist, who can also frequently determine its cause. The ophthalmologist tests for visual acuity, and may perform a visual-field test, a slit-lamp examination and, possibly, a tension test.
Neurogenic ptosis occurs when there is a problem with the nerve pathway that controls movement of the eyelid muscles. Causes of neurogenic ptosis include myasthenia gravis, third nerve palsy, and Horner syndrome. In myogenic ptosis, the levator muscle is weakened due to a systemic disorder that causes muscle weakness.
If you suddenly develop a drooping eyelid, you should contact your doctor. Because the involved eyelid may sag to the extent that it covers the pupil of the eye, it may interfere with normal vision by obscuring the upper aspect of the field of vision.
Blepharoptosis (blef-uh-rahp-TOH-sis) or ptosis (TOH-sis) is a drooping of the upper eyelid that may affect one or both eyes. The eyelid may droop only slightly or may droop enough to cover the pupil and block vision. Blepharoptosis can occur in adults or children.
If left untreated, ptosis and other eyelid problems can cause: “Lazy eye” (amblyopia): Inability of one eye to see well (in spite of glasses or other means) Eyesight problems such as astigmatism (poor eyesight caused by irregular eye shape) Permanent disfigurement.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if: You have new or worse eye pain. You have vision changes. You have double vision.
For some adults, blepharoplasty will restore sight and can be considered a medical treatment for ptosis. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that the average cost of blepharoplasty is $3,022.
Apart from reversible medical causes, where treating the systemic disease reverses the ptosis, there is no non-surgical treatment of ptosis.
For adults, treatment usually does mean surgery. Your doctor may remove extra skin and tuck the muscle that lifts the lid. Or the doctor may reattach and strengthen that muscle. You may also be able to wear glasses with a special crutch built in.
Certain prescription eye drops are available, which can serve as a temporary solution to address the condition of ptosis. The effect of the treatment can last for about eight hours, and can be repeated for maintain the look. Botox may be used in some cases to treat the muscle that is causing the eyelids to close.
Ophthalmologists also assess your eye muscle function by having you look in different directions. The degree of the eyelid droop is determined by measuring the marginal reflex distance, which is the distance between the center of the pupil and the edge of the upper lid.
Neurogenic ptosis caused by one of these conditions occurs suddenly, with symptoms worsening in a matter of days or even hours. Patients who experience sudden eyelid drooping should seek medical attention immediately to determine whether the underlying cause is a serious one.
It is not possible to cure ptosis unless the cause is a Botox injection, but treatment can easily manage the condition.
Patients with FES and obstructive sleep apnea may have an improvement in their ocular signs and symptoms after long-term therapy with continuous positive airway pressure. In refractory cases, a corrective surgery that addresses the eyelid laxity can result in significant improvement.
The lateral upper eyelid may appear elongated and imbricate (overlap) over the edge of the lower lid margin. Chronic severe papillary conjunctivitis with whitish mucus discharge is often present. Occasionally, this condition may be associated with a keratoconus.
A drooping eyelid, also called ptosis, is often a symptom of aging, though it can be a sign of something more serious such as trauma or diabetes, stroke, Horner syndrome, Myasthenia Gravis, a brain tumor, or a cancer that affects nerve or muscle reactions.
According to the National Stroke Association, forcing your eyelids to work out every hour may improve eyelid droop. You can work eyelid muscles by raising your eyebrows, placing a finger underneath and holding them up for several seconds at a time while trying to close them.
Most patients report the procedure is painless or only mildly uncomfortable. Post-surgical discomfort is usually manageable with an over the counter Tylenol. Recovery usually takes place in stages. During the first one to two weeks, it is normal to have some bruising and swelling.
Ptosis is often a long-term problem. In most children with untreated congenital ptosis, the condition is fairly stable and does not get worse as the child grows. In people with age-related ptosis, however, the drooping can increase gradually over the years.