Eyelid drooping is excess sagging of the upper eylid. The problem is also called ptosis.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A drooping eyelid is most often due to:
- Weakness of the muscle that raises the eyelid
- Damage to the nerves that control that muscle
- Looseness of the skin of the upper eyelids
Drooping eyelid can be:
- Caused by the normal aging process
- Present before birth
- The result of an injury or disease
Diseases or illnesses that may lead to eyelid drooping include:
- Brain tumor or other
cancer, which can affect nerve or muscle reactions Diabetes Horner syndrome Myasthenia gravis Stroke
- Drooping of one or both eyelids
- Interference with vision (if the drooping is severe)
Signs and tests
Tests that may be performed include:
- Tension test for myasthenia gravis
Visual field testing
If a disease is found, it will be treated. Most cases of drooping eyelids are due to aging and there is no disease involved.
Eyelid lift surgery (blepharoplasty) is done to repair sagging or drooping upper eyelids.
- In milder cases, it can be done to improve the appearance of the eyelids.
- In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct interference with vision.
- In children with ptosis, surgery may be needed to prevent
amblyopia, also called “lazy eye.”
The expected outcome depends on the cause of the ptosis. Surgery is usually very successful in restoring appearance and function.
Calling your health care provider
Get a referral to an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who is trained to diagnose and treat eye problems, for:
- Drooping eyelids in children
- New or rapidly changing eyelid drooping in adults