What is Eyelid Ptosis?

Ptosis is the medical term used to describe a drooping of the upper eyelid usually secondary to aging of previously normal structures. This condition, if severe enough, can reduce the field of vision. Patients may try and compensate for the partial loss in their vision by elevating their eyebrows in an effort to help elevate their eyelids. Eyelid ptosis may also cause excessive forehead wrinkling, headaches from forehead muscle contraction, elevation of the chin to improve vision and eye fatigue. It can occur at birth and is called congenital ptosis. Children may have to tilt their head back in a chin up position or lift their eyelid in an effort to see better. Children with this condition, if severe, may also have amblyopia (lazy eye). If the ptosis is not severe, surgery is generally performed when the child is slightly older at 3-5 years of age. If the problem is severe and interferes with vision and visual development, surgery is performed at an earlier age to allow for proper visual development.

Surgical correction of a drooping upper eyelid involves repairing the stretched tendon to elevate the eyelid. The incision is made in the natural eyelid crease or fold to avoid a detectable scar once the tissues have healed. This procedure is often performed with an upper eyelid blepharoplasty.