What is Ptosis?

Ptosis (pronounced “toe-sis”), also called droopy eyelids or heavy eyelids, refers to the lowering of the upper eyelid margin, with the eyelid obstructing part of the pupil.  The most common cause of ptosis is age related weakening or stretching of the major muscle that lifts the eyelid, the levator muscle. Relatively rare causes are neurologic diseases, trauma, or congenital weakness. Ptosis may also occur following lasik or cataract surgery as a side effect of some of the instruments used in surgery. Children may be born with ptosis or may acquire it due to trauma or neurologic reasons.

Can Ptosis Be Corrected?

Ptosis can be corrected surgically, usually by tightening either the levator muscle through a skin incision or a second deeper muscle within the eyelid through an incision on the underside of the eyelid. Other techniques can be used or in severe cases with poor eyelid muscle function. The goal is to raise the eyelid to allow for improved visual field and to obtain symmetry with the opposite upper eyelid.