The primary symptom of droopy eyelid (ptosis) is that one or both the upper lids sag. Sometimes patients may experience vision obstruction due to this sagging.
But many individuals find that eyelid droopiness is barely visible or does not occur all the time. The patients may experience symptoms such as watery or dry eyes, and the face may appear tired or weary.
Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui provides eyelid lift and ptosis correction surgery to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and surrounding locations.
How is Droopy Eyelid Diagnosed?
The doctor will likely conduct a physical examination and ask the patient about their health history. After the patient explains how frequently their lids droop and the length of time that this has been occurring, the doctor will run some tests to determine the cause.
How is Droopy Eyelid Treated?
The treatment for droopy eyelid depends on the specific cause and the severity of the ptosis. In case this condition results from aging or the patient has it since birth, the doctor may explain that no treatment is necessary as the condition is typically not harmful to their health. But the patient may consider plastic surgery if they want to reduce the sagging.
If the doctor detects that the droopy eyelid is occurring due to an underlying condition, the patient will likely receive treatment for that. This usually stops the lids from sagging.
If the ptosis causes vision obstruction, the patient will require medical treatment. In such cases, the doctor may recommend surgery.
Another treatment option is the use of a ptosis crutch that can hold the lids up. This treatment is typically most successful when the droopy lid is only temporary. For patients who are not ideal candidates for surgery, glasses may be recommended as well.
The doctor may recommend eyelid surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon will tighten the levator muscle. This will lift the lid up into a desirable position. At times, for children with ptosis, doctors recommend surgery to prevent the development of amblyopia (lazy eye).
But there are risks associated with surgery including a scratched cornea, dry eye, and a hematoma. A hematoma refers to a collection of blood. On top of this, it is not uncommon for surgeons to position the eyelid either too high or too low.
A “sling” operation presents another alternative in which the muscles of the forehead are used to raise the drooping eyelids.
The ptosis crutch is a nonsurgical alternative that involves adding an attachment to the frames of the glasses. This crutch prevents sagginess by holding the lid in position.
There are two types of ptosis crutches, namely adjustable and reinforced. Adjustable crutches are attached to one side of the frames whereas reinforced crutches are attached to both sides of the frame.
Crutches can be affixed on to almost all types of eyeglasses. However, they work most effectively on metal frames. Patients interested in a crutch should consult an ophthalmologist or cosmetic surgeon who treats people with eyelid droopiness.
Long-Term Outlook for Individuals with Ptosis
Ptosis is not typically detrimental to health. But if there is vision obstruction due to this condition, the patient should avoid driving until they receive treatment.
The long-term outlook depends on the reason for the ptosis. For most patients, the condition is merely a cosmetic problem. But since ptosis can sometimes signal a more serious condition, patients should consult their doctor first.