Ptosis (Drooping Eye Lid)

Ptosis (Drooping Eye Lid)

What is ptosis?

Ptosis (drooping eye lid) is the medical term for a drooping of the upper eyelid. Children with ptosis cannot properly open their eye due to poor development of the upper eyelid muscle (called the levator palpebrae superioris).
The upper eyelid muscle is responsible for lifting and pulling back the upper eyelid. A drooping eyelid or ptosis can be present at birth (congenital) or can occur later in life (acquired).

What causes ptosis?

Ptosis is caused by weakness of the eyelid muscles responsible for lifting the eyelid, damage to  the nerves which control the eyelid muscles, or loose skin of the upper eyelids.
In serious cases of ptosis, the lids may droop or sag so much that they actually block a child’s vision. Ptosis can be caused by a congenital abnormality, or an injury or disease.
Ptosis, which is present at birth, is called congenital ptosis. If a child is born with moderate to severe ptosis, treatment is necessary to allow for normal vision development.
If ptosis is not corrected, a condition called amblyopia (lazy eye) may develop. Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanent poor vision.

What are the symptoms of ptosis?

The most common sign of ptosis in children is the drooping eyelid. Children with ptosis often tip their heads back into a chin-up position to see underneath their eyelids, or they may raise their eyebrows in an effort to lift up the lids. If not corrected, head and neck problems can develop over time.

How is ptosis diagnosed?

The eye doctor will ask questions about your child’s symptoms and when their eyelids first started to look droopy, and if there is a presence of double vision. The doctor will use this information to identify the cause of the ptosis. A complete eye exam is done with special attention given to the eyelid position, vision assessment, eye vision correction (refraction), and the head position.

How is ptosis treated?

Early eyelid surgery is recommended for a drooping eyelid that blocks a child’s vision (which may cause delayed vision development). Surgery is also recommended if the drooping eyelid leads to a significant chin-up head position, which may cause neck problems and/or delay of developmental skills. Surgery may also be needed if the ptosis does not improve with normal growth and development of your child’s face.
After surgery and over time, your child will be monitored regularly for vision problems

If you have any questions or concerns:

Please contact Sidra eye clinic.