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What is eyelid ptosis?

Eyelid ptosis is when your upper eyelids droop. It can either be apparent at birth, or it can develop with age. For some people, eyelid ptosis can become a problem because it can cause eye discomfort, limit vision, and affect appearance. The good news is that eyelid ptosis can be corrected with surgery that restores the upper eyelid to its normal position. A child with congenital ptosis may tilt his or her head backward in order to see, so the condition doesn’t not always lead to poor vision. However, children with ptosis should be examined by an ophthalmologist because they may have other eye problems associated with it.

Surgery on ptosis is commonly recommended in the preschool years to improve appearance and make it easier for the child to see. The type of surgery varies, depending upon how much the eyelids droop. Involutional ptosis develops with aging. It may worsen after other types of eye surgery or eyelid swelling.

Ptosis may limit your side or central vision. If ptois occurs in one eye, it may create an uneven appearance. Surgical shortening of the muscle that opened the eyelid will often lead to better vision and improved appearance.

Ptosis usually refers to drooping of the upper eyelid.  This is most commonly seen in aging, however, many conditions can cause ptosis including trauma, certain nerve palsies, myasthenia and other conditions.  Ptosis may also be congenital.   Once the underlying cause of ptosis is identified and treated, surgical repair can then be considered for either functional(if the eyelid is blocking the vision) or cosmetic improvement.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
The word "ptosis" is to sag. Eyelid ptosis is associated with increase skin laxity of the upper eyelid and sagginess.  Severe eyelid ptosis may be associated with visual obstruction leading to difficulty seeing. Ptosis repair may include elevation of the eyelid and supratarsal crease. These are difficult surgeries requiring specialist (plastic and reconstructive surgeons, opthalmologist, facial plastic surgeons). 
Laura C. Fine, MD
Ophthalmology
Like other parts of the anatomy that respond to gravity over time, the upper eyelids may start to sag as muscles lose their strength. Eye injury, neurologic problems, and disease (such as diabetes or the neuromuscular disorder myasthenia gravis) can also bring on ptosis (drooping eyelid). One popular cosmetic procedure, Botox injections to eliminate wrinkles at the brow and forehead, may also cause temporary drooping (although the problem can last as long as three months, so it may not feel temporary to the person affected).

Although drooping of the upper lid often is a cosmetic concern, it can interfere with sight if the lid is so lax that it covers or partially covers the pupil. Before trying any treatment, you will need a medical exam to identify the underlying cause. Ptosis resulting from disease usually responds to treatment of the disease. If the problem is caused by Botox injections, it's best to wait until the injections wear off, in about three to four months.
Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
When the position of the eyelid on the eyeball is too low, a problem called ptosis exists. The eyelid should rest in a position halfway between the top of the iris (the pigmented area around the pupil) and the pupil (the center of the eyeball). When the muscles stretch out, causing ptosis, the lid sags and can interfere with vision. The surgical treatment involves shortening the muscle. Some plastic surgeons perform this type of surgery; many work together with a special type of ophthalmologist called an oculoplastic surgeon.
Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

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Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

The public’s recent exuberance toward cosmetic surgery has spurred an unprecedented demand for appearance-changing procedures. But how can an average consumer discern the hype from solid truth? ...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.