An Introduction to Ptosis: Know Its Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Ptosis is the medical term for the drooping of the upper eyelid. The lid may drop slightly, or it may cover the entire pupil. There are even cases that when a ptosis is severe, it can restrict or block normal vision. It can be any of the following: affect the eyelids, inherited, an inborn condition, or something that may develop later in life. It is not really a disease; it is a rare kind of condition that can be treated with surgery for severe cases. Unfortunately, it can affect anyone, as it can be present to both children and adults.

What causes Ptosis?

Ptosis affects the muscles, nerves, and skin of the eyelids. These parts weaken due to aging or injury. Other causes include congenital or inborn conditions such as having weaker eye muscles that later develop to ptosis. Horner’s syndrome, a type of nerve damage, is also another cause of ptosis. It is a type of nerve damage that targets the face and eyes. Horner’s syndrome can be acquired after a stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries, and other forms of lung cancer. Aside from these, diabetes and myasthenia gravis also increase the risks of ptosis.

What are the usual symptoms of Ptosis?

The first and foremost symptom of ptosis is the evident drooping of the upper eyelid. Symptoms may show on either one or both of the eyes. Other symptoms may include having bumpy or no creases in the eyelids, as well as frequent raising of the eyebrows and tilting of the head as it indicates that the ptosis is already restricting normal sight.

How is Ptosis diagnosed?

An annual eye examination for both children and adults is important to be done. Experts use a vision test with eye chart to determine if the eyelid drooping interferes with the person’s vision. Other options can be blood testing and performing of x-ray procedures to detect the problem and structural abnormalities.

What are the possible treatments for Ptosis?

There is a wide array of treatment options for Ptosis. If it is diabetes, your doctor would help you manage your condition. If the cause is myasthenia gravis, medications like neostigmine, pyridostigmine, prednisone, and other immunosuppressant drugs will help sooth your muscles and nerves and work more effectually.

For inborn ptosis, surgery is required. Through this, the levator muscles are repaired and tightened manually to help lift the eyelid. If this is not cured immediately with a surgery, children may develop amblyopia or most commonly known as the lazy eye. It is a condition where vision becomes blurred or, in worst cases, poor vision in one eye due to under usage. The eye failed to develop normal sight during the course of the development of the child. If the amblyopia is not treated, it may lead to loss of vision permanently.


Eyelid drooping or ptosis is not necessarily harmful to your health depending on the cause of the condition. If the cause is due to a dangerous and life-threatening one, then it is always better to consult and talk to your doctor. More often, aesthetics is the usual concern when having ptosis. Surgery is the most effective and successful way to restore your eyes function, eye vision, and eye aesthetics for severe ptosis.

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