Eyelid ptosis refers to the drooping of one or both eyelids and is caused by weakness of the muscle responsible for raising the eyelid, damage to the nerves which control those muscles, or laxity of the skin of the upper eyelids. The eyelid droop may be barely noticeable, or in severe cases, the lid can descend over the entire pupil. Drooping eyelid can occur in both children and adults and can be caused by the normal aging process, a congenital abnormality (present before birth) or the result of an injury or disease. Drooping eyelid occurs most often due to aging.
What Causes Ptosis?
Eyelid ptosis occurs when the muscle that usually raises the eyelid is not strong enough to do so. It can affect one eye or both eyes and is more common in the aging or elderly, as muscles in the eyelids may begin to deteriorate. One can, however, be born with ptosis, as it is hereditary. Ptosis may be caused by damage/trauma to the muscle which raises the eyelid, or damage to the nerve which controls this muscle. Such damage could be a sign or symptom of an underlying disease such as diabetes mellitus, a brain tumor, and diseases which may cause weakness in muscles or nerve damage,such as myasthenia gravis.
What are the symptoms & signs of ptosis?
Depending on how severely the lid droops, people with ptosis may have difficulty seeing or closing the eye completely. People have been known to tilt their heads back to try to see under the lid, or raise their eyebrows repeatedly to try to lift the eyelids. The degree of droopiness varies from one person to the next.
Ptosis does not usually improve with time, and nearly always requires corrective upper eyelid surgery. In most cases, surgery is performed to strengthen or tighten the levator muscle and lift the eyelid. If the levator muscle is especially weak, the lid and eyebrow may be lifted. Eyelid ptosis treatment can usually be performed with local anesthesia except with young children. The surgery helps them to look cosmetically good, avoids development of lazy eye which cannot be rectified if detected at later age.
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