What is Ptosis?

Submited by Kassmd on February 1, 2021

What is Ptosis?

Although unnoticeable most of the time, those sleepy-looking eyes or slightly saggy upper eyelids could be suspect. Experts advise not to take it so casually as it could be a case of Ptosis,
which can affect normal vision when it goes untreated. Often ptosis occurs so slowly over time that patients may not attribute their difficulties seeing to their saggy eyelids.

An In-Depth Explanation of Ptosis

Most people refer to this eye issue as droopy eyes. In this case, the upper eyelid will often droop over the eye. And while the condition may affect one eye only, there are situations
where both eyes take the toll. Again, the severity of the problem varies. For example, the droopiness might cover a bit of the eye, or it could completely hangover in other patients, covering the pupil.

In the most severe cases, Ptosis can block the eyes and affect normal vision. This is particularly problematic when you attempt to read or look downwards. To compensate for this visual block, patients often will unconsciously raise their eyebrow or their eyebrows, creating an abnormal appearance and causing ever-deepening furrows in the forehead. But that is not all, as this can also tire the facial muscles, especially when trying to read, and you may not be even aware of it!

Different Types of Ptosis

Ptosis affects both children and adults, and here are the common types:

  • Congenital Ptosis: It precisely affects children, and experts say it could be due to problems with the child’s levator muscle. A key symptom is a droopy eye, although some kids could present with an eye crease that does not seem to line up correctly. Mostly, children with this condition end with lazy eyes or delayed vision. Sometimes, the droopy eye in children comes accompanied by other eye-related issues such as eye muscle disease.
  • Adult Ptosis: Also known as involutional Ptosis. Others merely call it acquired Ptosis, and it occurs due to the stretching away of the levator muscle from the eyelid. There are various causes and risk factors associated with adult Ptosis. For example, it could be age-related or an aftermath of eye surgery—i.e. cataracts. Underlying medical issues could also cause Ptosis. Only an expert can correctly diagnose and recommend the most appropriate treatment.

Signs That You Have a Droopy Eyelid

Frankly, it can be hard even for eye professionals to tell if you have Ptosis. That is unless the situation is so dire that you have problems with eye fatigue or with your vision. However, being on the lookout for that saggy appearance in one or both of your eyelids helps. Also, look for elevation of one or both eyebrows and deepening furrows in the forehead. In the most severe Ptosis cases, a patient will occasionally want to tilt their head to see whenever they are speaking. This can lead to headaches and neck problems. Meanwhile, never wait to see a physician as persistent droopy eyes could, unfortunately, be an indication of something else. Most often, an examination should rule out an underlying condition.

Treatment Options for Ptosis

While most Ptosis cases rarely cause pain and discomfort and hence go untreated, others may need the expertise of an ophthalmic plastic surgeon. Most treatments occur to fix visual impairments. Sometimes insurance may pay part of the costs but this has become increasingly rare. The droopy eye can also undergo cosmetic correction, and in most cases, treatment is via a surgical procedure performed as an outpatient under local anesthesia. The treatment will often tighten the levator muscle, helping lift the eyes back to their normal position. For cosmetic concerns, excess skin may be removed and excess fat carefully sculpted at the time of ptosis repair. The procedure is practically pain-free.
Please do not hesitate to contact Kass Center for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery for additional information on Ptosis.