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What Causes Droopy Eyelid? Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

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When you read the words “droopy eyelid” you probably think of someone who is elderly who has lost skin elasticity. Although this can occur as you age, a droopy eyelid can affect a person at any age. That’s right! Read this week’s article all about this topic. We will cover the symptoms, diagnosis, and what you can do help correct this issue. We hope you enjoy it.



Normally, our eyelids aid in opening our eyes. However, when an individual presents having a droopy eyelid, the upper eyelid portion will be lower than normal. It can partially or fully obstruct a person’s vision depending on the severity of how low the eyelid has dropped when the eyes are open. Medically this eye condition is called ptosis, and can affect one or both eyes. Someone with minor ptosis may not show obvious signs of it. In severe cases, it will be obvious to others, as well as to the individual affected. He or she may have trouble seeing if a portion of the pupil is being covered. Some people with ptosis begin to overcompensate by raising their eyebrows to help them see.

There are a number of causes for why someone could develop this eye condition, including:

  • Present at birth
  • Due to an injury
  • Diabetes
  • Resulting after a surgery, like a cataract surgery
  • Age
  • Neurological disorder
  • Muscle issues
  • Eye tumor
  • Eye infection

If you think you have ptosis, it is best to make an appointment with your local optometrist rather than attempt to self-diagnose the issue. All About Vision explains, “Ptosis can look similar to dermatochalasis, a group of connective tissue diseases that cause skin to hang in folds. These diseases are associated with less-than-normal elastic tissue formation. Your eye doctor should be able to tell whether or not this is the cause of your drooping eyelids.” Furthermore, it is especially important to seek professional medical help if you are experiencing symptoms in a short period of time.



Your eye doctor will review with you your symptoms, medical history, perform an eye exam, and even order additional testing. In cases where ptosis is due to age, a diagnosis may be simple. You will likely be able to see the progression of ptosis yourself by looking at older photographs. However, in cases where there is an underlying issue like an eye tumor, your doctor will need to explore additional testing to ensure proper diagnosis of the root illness. Should you need to see a specialist your optometrist will recommend one.



For some, no treatment is necessary if symptoms are not noticeable. For example, an elderly person who presents with a droopy eyelid but is able to see fine and no underlying issues are identified, no treatment is necessary. Ptosis present at birth will need to be evaluated for severity. If the eye condition is hindering an infants ability to see at birth it will affect their ability to develop mentally and also affect eye development. Immediate surgery to correct the issue will be needed. Otherwise, it may be recommended that the child receive corrective surgery when he or she is between the ages of 3 to 6. If an underlying disease or illness is causing a droopy lid, then treatment will be aimed at resolving the root issue, which should either maintain or improve the ptosis.


Do you need a full comprehensive eye exam? Book an appointment with Dr. Sharma by giving our office a call or easily booking online

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