What are droopy eyelids?
Droopy eyelids, also known as blepharoptosis or ptosis, are often caused by trauma, age, or other medical disorders.
Unilateral ptosis is ptosis that affects only one eye. If it affects both eyes, it’s called bilateral ptosis.
This condition can either go away quickly after a few weeks or last permanently. Some people are born with it. The extent of negative effects droopy eyelids may cause to your vision or eye functions depends on the severity.
In most cases, droopy eyelids will resolve, either on its own or with medical interference.
Who is at risk of droopy eyelids?
Many factors, including natural causes and serious conditions, can contribute to the development of ptosis. It’s impossible to figure out the real cause on your own. You will need to see a doctor about this.
Anyone can get droopy eyelids. The differences in prevalence between men and women aren’t significant. In Vietnam, most cases of ptosis occur due to the natural aging process. You eyelids are supported by the levator muscle. As you age, this muscle will get weaker and stretched, causing your eyelids to droop downward.
However, keep in mind everyone is at risk of droopy eyelids. In fact, although it’s quite rare, even newborns can have ptosis. The exact cause of this condition still remains unknown. Congenital ptosis is likely caused by underdeveloped levator muscle. Children with droopy eyelids may suffer amblyopia - a medical term referring to vision impairment.
Droopy eyelids due to medical conditions
Ptosis may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Or, it can be the result of a nerve injury or any eye surgery that may cause the supporting muscle and tendon to stretch out.
Droopy eyelids due to other serious causes
In some cases, ptosis may be caused by a much more severe condition such as a stroke, a brain tumor or cancer of the muscle, etc. In addition, neurological disorders may affect the nerves or muscles of the eyes. Myasthenia gravis is an example.
Signs of droopy eyelids
The main sign of droopy eyelids is the sagging of one or both upper eyelids. In many cases, this will limit your vision. However, as mentioned above, it may be temporary and will go away on its own after a few weeks. You may also experience eye dryness o tear overproduction. Your face will look tired and lack vitality.
People with severely droopy eyelids may need to tilt their heads back or move their necks to see everything when talking to others. If droopy eyelids are accompanied by migraines or other warning sides, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
How are droopy eyelids diagnosed?
During every health check, your doctor may perform a physical exam and ask you about your medical history. If you experience constant eyelid sagging, your doctor may order several tests to pin down the exact cause of your condition. In addition, you may need to go through other exams to see if there’s anything wrong with your eyes.
Then, you may be given an injection and asked to cross and uncross your legs or stand up and sit down several times. Your doctor will keep an eye on you to see if the medication used can improve your muscle strength. This helps your doctor decides if your droopy eyelids are caused by myasthenia gravis or not.
How are droopy eyelids treated?
Treatment for droopy eyelids depends on the cause and the severity of your condition.
If the cause is aging, there’s nothing much to do as it doesn’t negatively affect your health. However, if you still want to improve the appearance of your eyelids, you may opt for cosmetic surgery at a reputable aesthetic center.
If your doctor believes that your droopy eyelids are caused by a serious underlying condition, he or she will come up with an appropriate treatment plan to prevent further damage. Treatment will also help with your vision and improve your life quality.
In the case of temporary ptosis, your doctor will prescribe a kind of glasses for you to wear to help your condition improve faster.
If necessary, your doctor may recommend surgery to tighten the levator muscle. Children with droopy eyelids are recommended to get surgery as soon as possible to prevent the development of vision problems.
After surgery to correct droopy eyelids, you may experience certain side effects such as eye dryness, corneal abrasion, or hematoma.
How to prevent droopy eyelids?
Since the main cause of droopy eyelids is aging, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Your best bet is getting checked regularly to seek timely diagnosis and treatment.
If you notice your children having signs of droopy eyelids, take them to your doctor right away.
Since droopy eyelids have a negative impact on your vision and life quality, if you have chosen a treatment option, do your best to stick with it. Getting medical attention is never redundant.